Show Horse or Work Horse?

“JFK is a show horse and I’m a work horse,” says actor Woody Harrelson in the LBJ movie and this statement slams into me.


I know what I want to write about – finally.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a family story and quite frankly, the stories haven’t been at the ready. A few years ago, I couldn’t keep up with the stories as they swirled in my head. I’ve had to choose from all of the ones spinning around and lately, this hasn’t been the case.

The main reason is I have two teenagers and the light-hearted, innocent comments don’t happen in the same way. We certainly laugh – a lot, but the laughter is based on complexity or past information that doesn’t translate well to sharing with others.

You know – the old, “You had to be there.”

The other reason?

Man, these teenage years are complicated.

It seems every week, I’m having a deep conversation with one of them about all of the topics of growing up – sex, drugs and rock and roll.


Doing it.

Diving in.


Growing up today – wouldn’t want to be doing it right now.

Glad I’m on the other side, helping to pull and push as needed.

So thankful my feet are firmly planted in adulthood and that I’ve been on the path of invention and reinvention to gain awareness.

Because, man. I really don’t agree with the technology availability, the everything is an epic fail, the influx of SO much information and the surface level engagement of everything due to it all being TOO MUCH.

I cannot fathom living every moment of life in an instant.

Can you?


Every moment is of epic importance and then it’s gone – in an instant.


Not me.

You see, I’m a work horse – through and through.

I don’t really have a show horse bone in my body.

I don’t get the Facebook postings, the photo and video sharing frenzy of these past years.

I don’t have the camera or phone ready for one thing.

The other?

I completely forget to actually take the picture, never mind video the moment.

I just don’t live this way.

And, I’ve been feeling badly about it – but no more.

I’ve been feeling badly, but now – with that one comment from a movie no less.


Not feeling badly anymore.

Because in those moments when I don’t have a camera or phone or thought to video?

My eyes are there – observing.

My mind is there – engaging.

My heart is there – loving.

I applaud those who capture moments to preserve but I’m not one of them.

Now, I can forgive myself for that, because I’m a work horse, not a show horse.

I can finally let go of any guilt or regret.

Because, I’m also that person who stores those moments in my heart.

Also, I haven’t been going along with the mainstream for most of the kids’ lives anyway.

I don’t agree with the hectic schedules. For our family, we still have the slowed down, loose schedules of yesteryear and quite frankly, we are more unlike other families than ever.

I thought we would buckle down and become overscheduled in the high school years, but that hasn’t happened.

When I look at the college entrance process, I still don’t care about the number of activities my two have. I don’t agree with the college process the way it exists today. We’ll have to participate, because Nick and Katy want to go, but we’re not getting sucked up into it. We will honor who we are, even during this time.

I don’t agree with living through technology. Yes, I love connecting through Skype or having meetings through Zoom as additional resources, not replacement ones.

I’m constantly taking the phones or other means of over communication away to have personal connection.

I don’t like living on the surface, so I’m forever knocking on closed doors and sitting down to talk about – whatever.

I’m watching, listening and involving myself in pop culture I really cannot even understand.

I’m working, especially during these teenage years.

So, show horse?

No, that’s not me.

And, finally, I’m perfectly fine with it.

Because, if LBJ didn’t push through the Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Immigration and Nationality Act, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Revenue and Economic Opportunity Act, Transportation Department formation and Gun Control Acts, where would our society be today during these turbulent times?

I’m not saying anything about his politics, this is about actualizing JFK’s agenda.

Sometimes it’s really good being a workhorse.

I’m going to continue being one during these teenage years – that’s for sure!


Wishing you joy,