• Jennifer Holmes

Confessions Of The Milkman's Daughter

When I was four years old, my Dad delivered milk for the local dairy. Sometimes Dad would take me with him on early morning trips in his big milk truck.

Once, he brought me to tour the plant where the milk was bottled. He introduced me proudly to his coworkers as I scuffled along holding his hand. We stopped in front of a large door, where strips of heavy plastic held back puffs of chilly air. Dad lifted me unceremoniously, depositing me into a sturdy metal milk crate, on a conveyor floor in front of this creepy cold "door". In a very serious voice, he said, "I'm sending you on a tour. Hold on tight. Don't get out of the crate. I'll meet you at the end."

"BUT," he added sternly, "and this part is VERY IMPORTANT- When you see Jim, the loading guy, make sure you tell him you are not milk. Otherwise, he might put you on the truck and ship you by mistake."

Well, my four year old brain took this advice extremely seriously. I sat still as a corpse, hung on with a white-knuckled death grip, and practiced what I would say to Jim to avoid my fate. "I'm not milk. I'm not milk. I'm not milk...." I repeated over and over. I barely noticed all the fascinating bottling gizmos in the area, or the full crates of milk bumping along on either side of me in the refrigerated air. With every second traveled my anxiety grew, as did my sense of impeding doom. I focused on my mantra; "I'm not milk...I'm not milk....I"m not milk...."

Finally, around the last corner, I caught a glance of Jim in the distance. He made eye contact and smiled. That was it for me. My composure evaporated, and in sheer panic, I began waving my arms and shrieking at the top of my lungs, "I'M NOT MILK! I'M NOT MILK! I AM NOT MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILK!" I wasn't taking ANY chances! Of course, my Dad appeared right on cue, saving me from my fate as the strangest bottle of milk ever loaded onto a delivery truck.

We joke about it now. But looking back, I realized that I trusted my Dad so implicitly and internalized his instructions so strongly that it was YEARS before the glaringly obvious truth occurred to me: That OF COURSE JIM KNEW ALL ALONG I WASN'T MILK.

The moral of my tale: Sometimes we need to challenge our perceptions of "the way it is." Are there other, more helpful ways to interpret reality? Did someone tell us something that shaped our current beliefs? And if so, is that "truth" serving us now?

Are we allowing ourselves to remain stuck, citing "rules" we grew up with that are no longer applicable?

Challenge these old truths. Look at them through a fresh lens. Who knows what new opportunities you'll see?

Joy, love, and Milkshakes,

-Jen

Now it's your turn:

What old "truths" are no longer serving you? What new, more positive thoughts can you replace these with today and in the future?

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