#25) “Is that all you got me?” (Learning from a 7-year old)

Four years ago, I had a young piano student named Kayla who provided me with two of the more memorable moments of my teaching career.  The first was the inspiration for my Maestro’s Musings blog “Still Their Son“.  The second was a little less warm and fuzzy, but perhaps more thought provoking.

For Christmas, I made T-shirts for several of my students, with a photo from a recent recital.  When I gave Kayla hers, she inspected it and then said, “Is this all you got me?”  I found the comment at least as funny as it was offensive; I’m not exactly known as the most polite person in the world myself, and while some people may have been more taken aback, I saw the “out of the mouths of babes” humor in it.  The Orange County force was strong in this one.

But the remark has stuck with me, not because of its humor or its rudeness; because of its relevance to me.   With the Law of Attraction being what it is, it’s no surprise that I’ve found music students who share my qualities, for better or worse.  One of them is the greed expressed by Kayla, which may have been understandable for a seven year old, but a little less so from a grown man.  When it comes to the various branches of Trail Head Enterprises, I’ve caught myself asking, “Is that all you got me?”

I’ll check in to see how many page views I’ve had on www.nobodyhikesinla.com (107 so far today) and then immediately click “refresh” to see if there are any additional ones in the three seconds that have passed by.  (Nope, not this time.)  I’ll log onto Shutterstock and see if I’ve had any new photos downloaded.  Usually I haven’t, but on those occasions when I have, instead of enjoying it, I find myself clicking the dreaded “refresh” button again.  After all, sometimes buyers on that site buy in bulk, and with 25 downloads a day available to them in their subscriptions, it’s only natural to hope that several of them will be from my portfolio.

But of course, this type of impatience, while perhaps a byproduct of the information age, doesn’t yield long-term productivity.  In reflecting upon my first year in stock photography on my Nature Pic Mercenary blog, I noted that I need to enjoy photography for its own sake, not just because I can make some extra money at it.   In the bigger picture, being grateful for what I have is likely to attract more good things.  It’s a hard enough lesson for an adult to grasp, so I can only imagine what it was like for poor Kayla.  (Cool, I’m up to 123 now!)

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