When our kids were little, they LOVED to play ‘Calgary Stampede Rodeo’ with Jim. He would sit on the edge of a chair and place one of them, wearing their cowboy hat, facing him on one of his knees. Then they were to put their left arm in the air, and when they were ready they would give him the nod. His knee would bounce up and down and they would try to keep their balance and not get bucked off! Inevitably I would hear the cries of, “Now it’s my turn!” as the other finished their turn. They just loved the fun of showing off their very best rodeo skills.
Recently I had a chance to think about the idea of taking turns in a whole new way. Jim was visiting Dave, his very good friend, from high school. Dave’s father was very ill and had been in the hospital for some time. Dave asked Jim if he would come to the hospital with him to visit his dad. He said that it would mean a lot to his dad. Jim hadn’t seen Dave’s dad in quite a few years, but he was grateful for the opportunity, even though he had been warned that Dave’s dad was not doing well.
Jim had a wonderful visit with both Dave’s dad and mom. During the conversation of the visit, Jim asked Dave’s dad how he was doing. Dave’s dad is a quiet spoken fruit farmer and his simple response was, “Well, we each get one turn at this, and I guess this is just my turn.”
What a profound thought.
I’ve thought of this sentence so many times since that visit. Simply taken in the context of the situation he found himself in, Dave’s dad was clearly giving thought to who he wanted to be, as he went through this part of his journey. I couldn’t help but think about how this simple idea can also be applied to so many things in our everyday lives.
So often, we travel through our lives, day upon day, going through motions and not really stopping to think about what we are doing or who we are becoming. I was thinking about my life and thinking how different it might be if I thought about using this idea as I was going about my living. What if I started to think about turns the same way our kids had thought about them when they played ‘Rodeo’; that is, that I wanted to make sure that during my turn, I was putting forth my very best. That I showed pride in my effort.
When I think about this in the big picture it is easy. Of course, someday I want to be able to look back at my life and think that I made the most out of my turn here on earth. When I just play the highlights reel in my memory, it is easy to give myself a passing grade on this one. But when I start to zoom in on seasons, on months, on weeks, on days, on mornings, on drives, on conversations, I wonder if I have always honoured the fact that I was making the most of my turn.
I wonder what it would be like if I started to make the most out of every turn I get; or at least if I start to acknowledge that I am having a turn and that I get to choose how to use it. When I visit with my daughter or son, what if I appreciate that I get to have a turn at this and I want to make the most of it. When I make a dinner, what if I remind myself that this is my turn to make it as nice as I can – this does not need to involve hours; simply a mindset of making sure I use my turn well. When I drive to my next destination, what if I notice that this is my turn to take note of the sights and sounds along the way, or to have quiet time to myself, or to sing along or to visit with whomever I am driving with. The doing doesn’t really matter; it is more the idea that each of these things is a chance to take a turn, and just like Dave’s dad was doing, trying to make the most out of the turns we are given.
My inquiry for you this week is, ‘What am I doing with my turn?’
Learn more about the power of consciously thinking about how your are using your turns by booking a coaching session for you or for a group of friends. If you haven’t done so, check out my coaching video and my group coaching video and contact me to help you get started. Time to turn your life around!