Sunday, September 8, 2013

The wisdom of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

"You can't be that kid standing at the top of the
water slide. overthinking it.  You have to go down
the chute."  Tina Fey

Tina Fey is my favorite comedian, male or female.  She is hilarious.  If  you have seen her TV show "30 Rock", then you will understand when I describe her as 'hilarious and hysterical'
in her comedy.  Her timing is impeccable, her sutleness soulful, and her dry humor the driest.

Her autobiography, Bossypants, is both hilarious and so real.  I can relate to many of her experiences growing up, not quite the most popular girl around, but well- liked and noted for her sublime intelligence and intuitiveness.  If you haven't read this, do so.  You will laugh your way through her life experiences.

The above quote is one of her witty wisdom's from her autobiography.  And, yes, I can relate to this all too well.  I have been in this situation both literally and figuratively.  Sometimes in life instead of thinking too much about a situation it is better to just plunge right in there.  I know, I know, 'look before you leap,' but sometimes too much looking or thinking can keep you from experiencing the best part of life.  

I was always the 'careful ' daughter and sister.  I thought things out and sometimes it delayed my decision making process.  This can be deadly when 'spontaneous' is what is needed at the moment.  

I remember, a particular situation well from my childhood, where this quote literally happened to me.  When my sister and I were kids, we lived in NJ and in the hot, hot, Jersey summers we joined a swimming lake, Holiday Lake, near our home along with our next door neighbors. 

Two or three times a week, we went to Holiday Lake for the day, packing a picnic lunch and laying on the beach and swimming in the lake.  My sister and I and our friends spent most of the morning in the water, only coming out to eat our sandwiches and orange drink that Mom brought along.  

After lunch, we decided to try the new 'big' slide that had just been put in and opened for the first time that afternoon.  Anxiously, I climbed the ladder to the top.  I was a bit afraid of heights, and this slide was huge by sliding board standards.  I would have to go down the slide and plunge into the cool lake water.  What could be more fun and exciting?

I was first to approach the slide.  As I climbed the ladder, I kept looking straight ahead; I didn't want to look down or behind me and see how far up in the air I really was.  I didn't want to discover how far down the lake was from me.  I cautiously made it to the top and sat down at the top of the slide.  

I gulped.  Holy, Mary, St. Joseph and Jesus!  It was a long, long way down that slide into the lake. It was much farther than I had anticipated.  My head swam and was dizzy.  I kept swallowing and trying to muster up my courage.  My sister, four years younger than me, was right behind me urging me on.

I froze.  I became paralyzed.  This was much higher than I had realized and such a long, long slide down.  I knew I would slide into water deep and way over my head.  I did know how to swim well, it was just that my stomach was doing butterflies and the thought of how long I would be on the slide the way down, was excruciating to me.  

I couldn't move.  I snapped and unsnapped my bathing cap at least thirty or forty times nervously.  My sister and friends behind her were getting restless and wanted to go down the slide.  They all yelled at me to hurry up and go down.  

I still couldn't move.  I was terrified!  My sister was really getting impatient and saying to me to get going so they all could experience this fun slide.  I wiggled around to get my seating just right.  I unsnapped and snapped my bathing cap strap again. 

 My sister wanted to know what my problem was, but my mouth was so dry from fright, I couldn't answer her.  Shouts from the ladder were getting louder and louder.   Just as I was contemplating how I was going to overcome my fright and get down that slide, I yelped, "Owwww!" from a tremendous pain I felt on my right butt cheek.  I gave a small leap in the air, and down I went on the slide lickety-split, my stomach turning flip-flops and plunged into the cold lake water. 

My sister came off the slide right behind me, practically on top of me in the water.  I flayed around for a few seconds and then came to my senses and swam to shore.  I limped back to the blanket and the moms.  My right butt cheek was in intense pain.  

Mom checked my butt cheek - yes, there were two huge bite marks, teeth marks,  on my right butt cheek. Within a few minutes, it was beginning to bruise.  My sister had definitely 'bit me in the butt,' to get me moving and down the water slide.

Mom hauled my sister out of the water and she had to sit on the blanket for the rest of the afternoon, not permitted in the water or on the slide again that day.  

Well, that bite on my butt had definitely gotten my down the slide and my fear was overcome. The rest of the afternoon I was able to slide down the water slide without any fear.  But, it had taken that 'bite on the butt' from my sister to get me going. 

Of course, I limped around and it was painful to sit for the next two or three days, but I survived.

Moral of the story:  If you overthink a situation and/or delay a decision because of fear, life will 'bite you in the butt.'    To overcome fear, it is better to 'just do it' and slide down that slide to overcome any fear you may have at the moment.  

Sometimes there are situations in life where it is good to be impulsive and spontaneous as was that situation for me on the water slide at the lake that day.  While we have to choose carefully and make right decisions, there are times when a little spontaneity is needed to experience the fun in life.

Sometimes, you just have to take that plunge, as Tina Fey has done in her comedic career with creating, designing, producing, and acting in her TV show, "30 Rock."  She has done it all and we can, too, if we have the courage to just 'go down that chute.'

Copyright (c)  2013  Suzannah Wolf Walker