Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Little Wonders

Sometimes inspiration and perspective come from the most unlikely places. And when you least expect them.

Peanut was six months old when I took what I thought was the job of my dreams. I was the producer of the five o'clock news at the NBC affiliate in New York. A legendary newscast. Turns out, my dream job was a nightmare. Like any industry, mine has difficult people to work for and work with who made going to work a chore that I dreaded. Their lack of confidence in me eroded my own confidence. At one point in talking to my mom about it she said, "I've never heard you sound like this before." She was right. I was no longer myself.

My little wonder and little helper
The only things keeping me going were My Director and baby Peanut. But I definitely took the burden of an awful work situation home with me most nights. I was often distant or short-tempered. I couldn't take my mind off it.

One night during this period My Director and I were watching Meet the Robinsons for the first time. She had DVR'd it, thinking it might cheer me up because that scene with the dinosaur saying he had a big head and small arms always made me laugh when I saw the preview.

The last scene of the movie shows Lewis, the main character who is an orphan, going home with the parents who adopt him. Throughout the movie, he's trying to find the mom who left him at the orphanage when he was a baby. But the overriding theme of the movie is putting the past behind you, inspired by a Walt Disney quote, "Keep moving forward."

Lewis realizes the past he was chasing wasn't nearly as worth it as the future that was before him, and as he does, "Little Wonders" starts playing:

Let it go
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don't you know
The hardest part is over

That song came on during this emotional last scene and the lyrics grabbed hold of us. We both started crying. We didn't even hide it like you often do when you're watching a poignant scene with someone, even if that someone is the one person it's ok for you to cry in front of.

My Director carried me those ten months. It was only ten months, but it felt like ten years. And she carried me, just like she did after my dad died.

If it's me you need to turn to 
We'll get by
It's the heart that really matters in the end

Peanut doesn't know it, but she carried me too. This perfect little happy baby. She was so good and such a joy to be around. So easy to please and appease.

Meet the Robinsons is now one of Peanut's favorite movies. It's one of those movies we don't get tired of if she's on a streak of watching it consecutive times on consecutive days. She knows I love that part with the dinosaur. And she knows her mom and dad will always be there, helping her move forward when she's stuck in a rut. My little wonder helped me out of one of my biggest ruts.

Sometimes we get wrapped up in ourselves, in our issues, in whatever is plaguing us at that particular moment in time. And to a large extent, I did too. But I was still able to embrace our little wonder. Enjoy her. Be there for her. Because she was there for me.

All lives are made
In these small hours 
These little wonders 
These twists and turns of fate
Time falls away
But these little wonders still remain

Thankfully, I found another job at an unlikely place, producing a financial news program at a national network. And I've thrived. I've never been happier professionally. I'm still here almost four years later.  

I have a playlist on my iPod with Peanut's name on it. Songs she likes. Songs I sing to her or used to sing to her. Songs that remind me of her. This song is the first one that playlist:

This post is part of a musical writing challenge posed by my friend Chris who writes a great blog called ...from the Bungalow. This is my favorite post of his.


  1. I really love this post! So inspiring and I love the quote, "the past he was chasing was not nearly as worth it as the future that was before him..." Definitely wonderful words to live by. Thank you so much for your words. :)

    1. I think we all are guilty of holding on to some part of the past that we just need to go of. Thanks so much for YOUR kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. Great post, Justin. Of course, I also love Meet the Robinsons, and this is a great song.
    "Sometimes we get wrapped up in ourselves, in our issues, in whatever is plaguing us at that particular moment in time."
    So true. Reading this post (and the others submitted for the writing challenge) has helped pull me out of a tremendous funk. What great timing for such an excellent reminder. Thanks for that.

    1. I'm glad in a small way I could hep you our of your funk. We all get there. Getting out is the hard part. Hang in there.

    2. I can't tell you how much I needed to read this post and hear that song today. Thanks, Justin. (Minus the fact that I have to now try to pretend like I wasn't crying in my cubicle).

      And, I will definitely be watching Meet The Robinsons this weekend (I've never seen it!)

  3. I don't think I ever payed that close attention to those words before... What a beautiful song, and I could see how that would stick with you. Screw NBC.

    1. And less than 12 hours after I posted this, Sue Simmons is out: Karma: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/anchor_away_rx8c9JHJeuKOobii5RKMkI

  4. you know well that we both had similar experiences and that I can relate to the hellish nature of that particular newsroom -- a powerful song, indeed.

    1. I met some great people there. People I still talk to and consider good friends. But when I left that place I felt like I got paroled.

  5. Great Post J. I love this movie and this song especially. Thanks for making me tear up a bit this morning, much appreciated bro.

    1. Thanks, buddy. I'm glad it meant something to you.

  6. Beautiful song ! Thanks ! I needed that.Just added it to my playlist as well :)and lovely post as well!

  7. Wonderful post, beautiful song! Peanut is a very lucky little girl to have such a wonderful daddy! Glad things have worked out so well for you!

  8. Thank you for sharing this meaningful connection with us.

  9. Here from Lisa's and I am so NOT disappointed. We have all had people who have carried us, and it is so important to learn to let it roll right off our shoulders. A lesson I teach everyday to my hot tempered Youngest and competitive driven Oldest.

  10. An exceptional post... thank you for this, on this day, that could be a very difficult day for my family.

    1. Thank YOU. Glad my little post could help you with your problems in some small way.


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