Monday, February 28, 2011

Today's fortune: February 28, 2011

Today's fortune: Your courage will guide your future.

On this last day of February, I'm going to courageously buck the trend of using the definition of "courage" and go with this one instead:

Click play to hear audio clip

In "The Wizard of Oz," the Cowardly Lion is transformed from a chicken-hearted pussycat to the freakin' King of the Forest after he receives a pep talk not unsimilar to today's fortune from the great and powerful wizard (who isn't really great, powerful or a wizard at all).

"You're a victim of disorganized thinking," the wizard tells the lion. "You are under the unfortunate delusion that simply because you run away from danger, you have no courage. You're confusing courage with wisdom. Back where I come from, we have men who are called heroes. Once a year they take their fortitude out of mothballs and parade it down the main street of the city. And they have no more courage than you have! But, they have one thing that you haven't got: a medal. Therefore, for meritorious conduct, extraordinary valor, and conspicuous bravery against wicked witches, I award you the Triple Cross. You are now a member of the legion of courage!"

So by golly, I made a point to be courageous today. I started out early. In the midst of the misty mist and the dusky dusk, I drove to work this morning. Normally I arrive at about 8:30, and by then all the good parking spaces are gone. But today, one of the very best in the whole lot was wide open. I approached it, and started to drive on when I saw that the plows had pushed a pile of snow on one side of the space.

But then I stopped and backed up. I said to myself, "You drive a pickup truck, for cryin' out loud. That space belongs to you!" I put the truck in gear and climbed my way up the snow bank. Then I enjoyed the short walk to the front door.

Once inside, I remembered that I had been dreading this day. I was bumped up to a new production level, and instead of the 19 widgets I made last week, this week I'll be making 28. Once at my workstation, there they were - nine bright, shiny new widget assemblies staring back at me, and they all had to be completed today. That's nearly half of my weekly workload from last week needing to be done in one day.

I remembered my fortune, so I knuckled down (you could say I held fast) and started working. I didn't worry about the overwhelming workload. I just worked, one widget at a time, until I was all done.

Originally, I thought I may have to work until 7:30 or 8 p.m. to finish everything. But instead, I strolled out of the office at 5:30.

Back in the truck, I noticed the tank was on "E," so I drove to a gas station. I courageously, if hesitantly, agreed to pay $3.27 per gallon for unleaded. Then, like a real badass, I left the pump unattended and walked into the station. Not only that, but I displayed the courage of not caring what anyone thinks about me by wearing what Jamie calls my "old man sunglasses" inside. I bought them not for their fashion but because they fit over my prescription glasses, they're comfortable and they're great for driving. But the drawback is they look like this.

I didn't care. I wore them into the store anyway. And I owned those suckers.

Courage doesn't have to be about large-scale acts of bravery. You can be courageous in small ways, too. And I hope my courage - and not the lack thereof - does drive my future. Just like the muskrat who guards his musk.