On more than one occasion I’ve said that our family crest should feature a bulldog rather prominently. They certainly aren’t the cutest or cuddliest of dogs–though I do think there’s something appealing about their smushy faces.
They were originally bred to grab bulls by the nose and hold on. And if you can wrap your head around that, my friends, you understand everything you need to know about my family.
Well, maybe you need to know one more thing. That’s the meaning of the word chutzpah.
According to Mirriam-Webster:
Simple Definition of chutzpah: : personal confidence or courage that allows someone to do or say things that may seem shocking to others
What do I mean by that?
Well my youngest son decided that, as a sophomore, he wanted to wrestle varsity and earn a letter jacket. The only way to do that was to wrestle most of the season two weight classes up from his own. He lettered his sophomore year.
My middle son decided he wanted to play in the high school jazz band, but they didn’t need tuba players. So he tried out on an instrument (bass trombone) that he didn’t know how to play–and made the band.
The eldest wanted a summer job but didn’t have any leads. So he started at one end of the neighborhood and visited every business until someone hired him.
You combine bulldogs with chutzpah and things can get interesting. Once we get our teeth into something, it’s a little hard to shake us off. Sometimes that’s a good thing.
But not always.
Bulldogs vs. Dragons
There are times when I’ve been called a mite…ah…hyperfocused, and –can you imagine it–stubborn. Me, stubborn? No, that’s not remotely possible, Not at all.
Yeah, and Houston’s expecting a blizzard.
So, yeah, I can get a bit tenacious at times. If I start something, I tend to stick with it and see it through, even if all the warning signs are telling me that I should quit while I’m ahead.
Like that one rosemary chicken recipe that didn’t quite sound right when I started and only got worse as I went. The end product tasted like cough syrup–truly dreadful. I really should have changed course in the middle of that one. Dinner would have been edible had I listened to that nagging little voice.
But the bulldog isn’t good at letting go.
This week, the bulldog came face to face with a mess of dragons and a rather epic fight ensued. The bulldog had its teeth sunk into a project on my publishing plan for the year, a half finished novella. Finish and publish that project, Then you can get back to the dragons. That was the plan the bulldog insisted upon.
But the dragons didn’t agree. No, they wanted to have their say and have it now. I tried valiantly to fight them off, but the truth was–and is–the dragons were far more fun than the project the bulldog insisted upon.
So for a change, I actually did the sensible thing. I let the dragons win. I’m setting aside the other project and going back to play with my dragon buddies!
The bulldog is still barking at me, make no mistake about that. But that project will still be there later, And maybe, just maybe, it will be far more fascinating some time in the future.
In the meantime, I’m reminding myself, sometimes it’s a good thing to be flexible and change plans, especially when dragons are involved and one is crunchy and tastes good with ketchup!
Don’t miss the preview of Pemberley: Mr. Darcy’s Dragon and Elizabeth’s Commonplace Book of Dragons.