On Wednesday at work I smashed my right knee into the corner of my desk while spinning around in my chair to answer the phone (I spun too far and too fast). It’s bruised and swollen now and twinges a bit when I walk.
On Thursday at work I accidentally kicked the metal glider of an open drawer on the same corner of the desk while changing into my work shoes, breaking one of my toes on my left foot.
Both injuries hurt like the dickens and are causing me to limp around like Quasimodo’s long lost sister.
Dear Reader, I am sure you are wondering where I am going with this.
Here we go, I’m about to my make my point:
I should have been born a Penguin.
How do I go from talking about a bruised knee and a broken toe to Penguins?
While Imma gonna tell you!
Penguins are my favourite animal ever. Hands down. They are beautiful, intelligent, and fascinating and I have been obsessed with them as far back as I can remember. But you know what penguins are not? Graceful.
Penguins are not graceful.
They are clunky and awkward (even the little Fairy Penguins) and the funny way they waddle makes me giggle every time.
And this is why I love them so much.
As a clunky and awkward young waddler I truly identified with these super awesome birds. When all of the kids in my class were experts in gym class and I was decidedly not an expert, I thought back to all of the books and discovery channel specials I had seen on penguins to get me through the humiliations. These beautiful creatures inspired me more than any actress or fictional character ever could.
I don’t need to be graceful to be adorable.
Sure, some folks can play catch or figure skate or even walk in a straight line without bumping into walls or tripping over their socks. But who cares about all of that?
Falling down is cute.
Clumsiness is endearing.
Be you a man, woman, or flightless bird your lack of coordination can be a blessing.
It is because of this knowledge that I learned to embrace my inner penguin.
As I got older I realized that being adorable isn’t everything (I mean sure, it counts for a lot, but there are other important qualities in life too). For example, the way penguins stand up to adversity has taught me a lot about believing in myself.
I mean, it must be tough being birds but not being able to fly. Sure, they can swim better than Michael Phelps (Is that still a cool reference? Or am I dating myself?) but they can never fly. That must sting a bit.
(As an aside I often wonder how penguins feel about this. Are they miffed? Resigned? Devastated? I must know!)
Knowing that penguins got the short end of the stick but still manage to be happy and have fun inspires me even to this day. They are the eternal optimist of the animal kingdom and I will forever be grateful to them.
Just as “Come On Eileen” is my happy song, this is my happy video. I watch it at least once a week and it never fails to make me smile.