Question: Are you scared of the bear in your bathroom?
No really, are you?
Today, all I could think about was grizzly bears as I sat in Terminal 8 of JFK Airport, tucked away in a little stall in a public bathroom.
Yes, I was on a toilet.
While on a toilet, I heard all of these really awful sounds ~ not those sounds ~ more like the sounds of things dropping, falling, banging and hitting the ground.
And let me tell you, I think there’s something unnerving about being tucked away in a bathroom stall sitting on a public toilet seat bearing it all with things dropping all around outside the door.
Turns out, it was just the cleaning crew, a klutzy one at that, who launched a sneak cleaning attack during my bathroom break unbeknownst to me.
It reminded me of the story my Mom told me about being a little girl visiting Yellowstone National Park.
You see, her family vacationed there often and it was during Yellowstone’s heyday of a plentiful bear population roaming the park.
Bears were everywhere.
On the roadside (where people would feed them right outside their rolled down car windows!) in the park and walking the campgrounds.
It was on one of these family vacations where my mother got caught with her pants down (or dress up ~ she never told me what she was wearing) with a bear in the bathroom.
She was a little girl following her mother into the Yellowstone public restroom. Actually, she was in a stall when the furry fury began.
Four big hairy feet walked right in front of her stall door.
Then the screaming began and she saw lots of feet running out the women’s restroom door.
She was caught with nowhere to go.
So was my grandmother.
Her mother in the stall next door whispered instructions under the shared stall wall. “Juanita! Stand on your toilet seat, don’t move and stay quiet.”
So she did.
Nervous and shaking and frozen my mother stood on top of that toilet seat praying for her little life.
The bear eventually moved on after making lots of growling and groaning bear sounds all throughout the bathroom, and of course my mother and grandmother lived to tell the tale over and over again.
Which brings me back to today.
There I was “bearing” it all on my public toilet seat in the middle of JFK Airport when all sorts of unsettling sounds began clanking and cranking around me.
My first gut reaction, my flight or fight thought was:
I know, ridiculous.
Not possible. Absolutely crazy talk.
It was the fear that rose inside my head, first.
Of course the thought passed just as soon as it appeared, as coherent and rationale thoughts caught up to me.
So, it was, on a toilet seat, in this year of taking care of my head, heart, body & soul, I was reminded about the power of stories.
They are the basis of what we tell ourselves everyday, the ones we live with, the ones we have inherited and the ones we invent.
In fact, here’s the story that I am hoping to write this year, during The Promise 365: It’s called “You can do anything, for one year” ~ that includes not shopping for clothes or shoes and writing a blog post every single day.
And, I know you can do the same with whatever you want to accomplish too.
So, here’s to your stories, to your dreams, and to overcoming the “bears” that scare you in the bathroom. Because in the end, they are just stories.
As for this one, I’m predicting a happy ending.
As long as those furry feet don’t catch me in the bathroom.