Why don’t we all just do what our 8-year-old selves told us to do?

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

My friend Sami called me yesterday and asked me when I was going to blog again because, as she said, “I’m sick of looking at those little chickens.” Then I got an email from Lisa (my friend since 3rd grade) saying that my idea about blogging more often must have gone south on me. So – since I have a day off work I decided I better get back to my blogging obligations….

So I mentioned the last time I blogged that I wanted to share with you something about Lisa. I’m just so darn proud of her and it makes my heart so big! Lisa, Sami, and I have been friends forever. Lisa and I sat next to each other in 3rd grade and have been connected at the hip ever since, and Sami moved back to our hometown in 6th grade, which is when she got connected to my other hip. Ever since I can remember, Lisa has had a camera dangling from her wrist. I remember thinking she was so cool because her mother let her use a grown-up camera, even in elementary school. This is what it looked like.

This is what my camera looked like in the 3rd or 4th grade. Any thoughts on which one of us was more serious about photography in 1970's something???

By the time we entered junior high, Lisa had advanced to the pocket instamatic. My Mickey Mouse camera ended up in a garage sale.

Point being, Lisa has hundreds of pictures of us growing up. All of those pictures are true treasures -although a few should be burned and if anyone is to ask me about some of them I will plead the fifth!

Anyway – if we all would think back to those things we felt a connection to as a child we would probably all be better off as adults had we stuck to our intuitiveness of what made our little 3rd grade selves so happy.

As kids, Lisa always loved to take pictures and Sami loved to write and be creative with her thoughts and imagination. As for me, I wanted to be a farmer. Lisa reminded me the other day how I always wanted to be a farmer – and that even in elementary school I would tell people I was going to be a farmer. Well, that and a twirler… I used to say I wanted to twirl until I was 50 and then work at the Dairy Queen. I suppose I could have done that and be a farmer… Anyway, Lisa said that it always struck her as funny that I wanted to be a farmer because it wasn’t that I wanted to live on a farm or be married to a farmer, but BE a farmer. Then I remembered how I took a shoebox full of my grandfather’s cotton from his farm to show & tell in 3rd grade, telling all the students how it starts out as seed and ends up as blue jeans. I also remembered how I used to love to grow stuff in our backyard – I even grew cotton one year! If I dig around somewhere I can find pictures of me proudly posing with all the watermelons I have grown throughout my childhood years.

Okay – so where am I going with all of this? With how Lisa, Sami and I ended up straying from what made our little souls smile as kids. As we became adults, Lisa ended up getting into politics as a consultant and PAC director, Sami ended up in the mortgage industry, and I ended up in corporate America. BUT, now that we’re in our 40’s we are finding ourselves doing what our 3rd grade selves told us we needed to do to begin with…

My oh my, how life comes full circle!

After 20 years of straying from what she really wanted to do, Sami is now reinventing old pieces of furniture and boring walls and writing about it here. As you already know, my husband and I bought a farm after we both spent 20 years doing corporate business stuff, and Lisa – well, Lisa has finally plunged full force into her photography after a 30 year hiatus!

So what has Lisa been photographing? Well – let me tell you! In typical Lisa fashion, when she decided to photograph – she REALLY decided to photograph! And just guess what her first commercial piece of photography is????

An album AND magazine cover!

photo by Lisa Pollard

Yep, that’s right. She’s been following Willie Nelson & Ray Benson with Asleep At the Wheel in cool places like Luck, Texas, and documenting their lives as they record their collaboration of classic western swing – finally! It’s only 30 years overdue… For both, Lisa and her photography AND Willie & The Wheel!!!

Wouldn't we all have just been better off had we had listened to our gut in 3rd grade? Who knows?

Or - is it possible that we have to stray in order to get back to what is really important to us?

Something tells me that Willie Nelson and Ray Benson probably stuck with what their 3rd-grade selves told them to do.... One thing I know for sure is that I'm grateful for the 20-year ride that took me another direction. Without it, maybe I wouldn't appreciate what I have today....

Congratulations, Lisa! I’m glad you went for the gusto, and if Willie Nelson and Ray Benson aren’t the gusto – who is???

"One of the finest albums ever recorded." - Austin Music City

Photo by Lisa Pollard

"Asleep at the Wheel's take on Western swing should be especially interesting to fans of early 20th-century American popular music. Their fidelity to the source material means that traces of jazz swing, ragtime and Dixieland are preserved as if in amber, sounding much as they did in the '30s and '40s." - Washington Times

photo by Lisa Pollard

"The set is so authentic that one almost feels guilty listening to it on modern speakers instead of seated around the old Victrola." – Billboard

"Bright, playful and exploding with verve, 'Willie and the Wheel' is one of the first great albums of 2009." - The Washington Post

I'm curious - did you stray before you realized what your 3rd-grade self told you to do???

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