First! A quick announcement! After seeing a picture of our bold Maria dress up as her mother-in-law, I decided I’ve got to post y’alls costumes on our blog for Halloween. So please, send me a picture of you and/or your family, and I’ll have it posted on Halloween! Just sent it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Hey y’all, this picture just makes me want to say y’all, and I have no idea why. I’m so super excited because it’s finally official! With the help of dear Maria, my techie genius, we have a new blog name! Tortoise Girls!
What? Y’all saying. I hear ya. What? Yes, I know the first problem with this name is that tortoise is a little tricky to spell. I didn’t realize this until we were trying to buy the name from godaddy, and I had to keep spelling it over and over again for guy on the other end of the line. I’m hoping you’re all a little smarter than he is, but after I spelled tortoise six times for him, all the vowels in the word were doing cartwheels in my head, and I couldn’t keep track of them either.
But you have to believe me when I say that this name was meant to be—like the universe just aligned itself for a day with a book, a newspaper article, a conversation with a friend, a fable, and I had a 1000 kilowatt light bulb moment. Tortoise Girls!
The book, of all things, was a fun LDS romance called The List about a girl who refuses to get married until she completes all 25 goals on her list. Her goals are things like learning a foreign language, getting her master’s degree, learning to make sushi, learning to surf, having a summer romance . . . Well, you can guess which one got her into trouble.
I know this book sounds a little bit like our original sand bucket list idea, a list of things we wanted to do with our children before they grow up, but this fun book helped me realize that I wanted my own personal goals in there too. And yes, I plan on learning to surf.
The newspaper article, found in the Deseret News, was about Lorianne Toler, a young woman who served an LDS mission, graduated magna cum laude from law school, went to Oxford and completed her master’s, found a lost draft of the Constitution, started an online library of original sources of the Constitution, started her doctorate at University of Pennsylvania, wrote a book, started her own consulting company, consulted with Libya as they are drafting their new constitution, and oh, married and had a baby too. She’s only 33. I recommend you read the article right now because it will really get you thinking.
I know I can’t stop thinking about her. She’s so compelling, not only because of all that’s she accomplished, but because she also got very sick with symptoms similar to MS that left her in a wheelchair. After 33 different doctors, she was finally diagnosed with something called Conversion Disorder. It has a psychological component to it. Turns out that pushing herself so hard was not making her body too happy. She’s learning to slow down. Sort of.
I then had a conversation with a friend, who told me that the popular BYU Education Speaker, Randall Wright, encouraged his listeners to write down 100 life goals. That just really resonated with me. I get a little scared because I’ve got some Loianne Toler in me, and I have a tendency to push myself too hard. I get afraid of writing down goals because I might just go ballistic and try to finish my 100 goals by the end of the year.
But then the old Aesop’s fable just hit me. The tortoise and the hare. I am so the hare. I sprint like crazy and then I burn out and decide I wasn’t really into the race in the first place. I am determined to be the tortoise. Yes, I need to slow down, but that doesn’t mean I can’t finish. I can focus, and I can plod, and I can do those things that matter most to me in my life.
Like take for example my desire to read the great works of literature. This is just tugging at my soul every day because I know these books will enrich my life and help me become a better writer. And yet, I hardly ever find time to read them. What if my goal was to read just one chapter of a great book every day? Within fifteen years, I will have read about 100 great books. Wow. Small and simple things.
Want to know why my blog is plural—tortoise girls, instead of just tortoise girl? Because I want you all to join with me. I want you to become a tortoise girl, write your 100 goals down, map out a slow but steady pace, and be open to letting me interview you for the blog. I’m so excited!
Sorry men! You guys are invited to read too, and I think your masculinity can handle the name although if you would like, I can buy the domain name tortoise guys. It’ll cost me $12.99 so maybe you could all chip in a buck or two.