No Skipping Allowed
It's true. Just ask any first grader.
Want to know how to send a group of first graders into orbit? Tell a random kid to skip ahead in the lunch line.
And then sit back and watch the s*#tshow commence.
Because here’s the deal. After spending years in elementary school, I know one thing… skipping in line is not tolerated by kids.
Oh, they do it, but it’s a very risky move.
(Also a risky move with adults when skipping ahead on a 90-degree day at Disney or your favorite box store on Black Friday.)
Here’s how skipping goes down in first grade:
The scene: First-grade lunch. 25 6-year-olds waiting in line, excited like it’s Christmas morning because today is Pizza Day.
They’re antsy but careful about their line behavior because they know if the teacher has to wait for them to line up correctly, the process will be delayed.
But as we know, there’s always one yahoo who messes things up.
In this story, let’s call that yahoo “Kevin.”
Kevin doesn’t like waiting for pizza. Or recess. Or anything, for that matter, because Kevin doesn’t like not getting his way. But Kevin is a smart little ya-hoo and realizes the stakes are high for skipping (no recess or eating at the middle table), so he plays his cards carefully and, like a snake, slides in front of one of the quiet girls - “Suzy.”
What poor Kevin doesn’t realize is that two kids have witnessed his move- and these kids can be found in any classroom. The first one, “the informant,” we’ll call Paige. In the olden days, Paige was known as a Tattle Tale. Today’s version is much more savvy. Paige already has a business relationship with the lunchroom supervisor (and every adult in the building) and is discreet about her reporting. She makes eye contact with the lunchroom supervisor, nods in Kevin’s direction, and mouths, “HE SKIPPED.” Paige may be silent, but her message is in all caps.
Another kid, “Tommy the Blabbermouth,” is not discreet and notices Paige, then Kevin, and launches into orbit. “KEVIN SKIPPED IN LINE. NO SKIPPING, KEVIN! MRS. SO-AND-SO…”
I think we know how this ends.
The lunchroom supervisor moves toward the 25 angry first graders, removes Kevin from his prime perch, and sends him to the back of the line, where he’ll pray they don’t run out of pizza. (It’s been known to happen.)
Exasperated, she says, “Kids. Come on. You know you can’t skip the line. It doesn’t pay off.”
Only Paige and one other kid (a future MD or psychologist) get the deeper message - you can’t skip the line in first grade, and you can’t skip the line in real life.
Which leads me to What I’d Rather Be Talking About this week - there’s no one big step that’s going to magically catapult us to achieving our goals or getting through a tough situation. Essentially, we’re all standing in line, waiting to get somewhere, achieve something, or for something to change.
The truth that savvy six-year-olds like Paige and even Tommy the Blabbermouth know is that we have to respect the situation that we’re in and do what’s necessary to get through. If you’re 6, that means sucking it up and not line-jumping. In real life, it means something different for everyone.
Ponder that for a bit.
But for now, I’m giving you permission to skip ahead to the good stuff below.
Watch out for Paige & Tommy,
You all knew I was a nerd, but this is next level. Some people idolize sports figures. Others, actors. Me? As a kid, I worshipped The Bionic Woman; today, it’s an email copywriting guru named Laura Belgray. She makes 7 figures with her non-traditional and very colorful copywriting style. I knew Laura was my email spirit animal when one of her newsletters talked about her dad traveling with rubbers in his trunk. (My dad did too!) Because… you need to protect those Wingtips at all costs. Laura is hilarious and helpful, and I can’t wait for her book, Tough T*****s: On Living Your Best Life When You’re the F-ing Worst, to come out in June. Listen to Laura’s story on the Small Business, Big Mindset podcast.
Looking to travel more and work remotely while you’re at it? The Frugal Friends have your answer in How to Travel Full Time on a Budget.
I’ve said this all year, but this summer, my goal is to clean up my digital life. While in the spirit, I might use rainy days to tackle some closets. This episode of the Do It Today podcast might help if you have similar goals.
Future Kevin needs an audience with Gary Vanderchuck (known for starting The Wine Library) as he candidly (capital C) talks about his “overnight success” that took 44 years. Gary would definitely not support line skipping. Important note: Gary’s passion and word choice probably means keeping any first graders out of earshot while you listen. (Here’s a gentler version of his origin story.)
If you recently unpacked your summer clothes and declared, “I hate all my clothes,” maybe it’s time to refresh. Valentina has some ideas, or here are outfits if you’re dreaming of Ibiza, France, or want to perk up your existing clothes with accessories.
Electrolytes! You don’t need to be an endurance athlete to need electrolytes, especially during summer. I used to drink Gatorade but have switched to LMNT - it contains not only ZERO sugar but potassium, magnesium, and sodium. Their motto is “restore health through hydration,” which works pretty well with the upcoming hot summer days. (Sodium is not the devil, friends. Of course, know your body and listen to your doctor, but please do not fear this amazing product.) Best of all, LMNT comes in handy packets you can throw anywhere.
ON A SERIOUS NOTE
For starters, I hate waiting in line almost more than waiting at the dentist. But I also get impatient when waiting for goals to come to fruition. Equally frustrating is waiting for a situation to be resolved, a life change to gel, or a wish to materialize. As adults, we could list multiple times when we’ve dealt with one or all of those scenarios.
But as I’m sure Paige, the miniature adult, would tell us, there are no shortcuts in life. Finding a way to fast-track ourselves to the end game/glory is a nice notion, but normally it doesn’t pan out at breakneck speed. If you think of it, life is designed to force us to wait out the storms, do the hard work, and learn small lessons before we get to the payout.
And whether that payout is a rectangular slab of pizza with just the right amount of grease and crumbly sausage or some tangible thing or life event…it’s the same story:
We must hang in there patiently and trust that our hard work will pay off.
And it will.
When it’s our turn.
Until next week,
P.S. Watch out for Kevin. That kid is relentless.