Don’t Pet the Turtles

15 Nov

Let me begin by saying that I’m a worrier. I worry about everything. You name it. I’ve either worried about it in the past, I’m currently worrying about it or I plan on worrying about it in the future. So, it’s no surprise that when I stumbled upon an article about a salmonella outbreak in children due to contact with turtles, I felt that it was worth mentioning to my husband. The conversation went something along these lines.

Me: “Honey, don’t let the kids pet any turtles.”
Him: Stares at me as if I just grew a third arm out of my forehead.
Me: Relays the story I just read.
Him: Stares at me as if I just grew a third arm out of my forehead.

Okay, so maybe we don’t own a turtle. Or frequent pet stores. Alright fine, we don’t actually even know anyone who owns a turtle.

The next day my kids and I were enjoying a beautiful sunny day at the park. I was pushing them on the swings when I noticed a commotion a few feet away. A woman stood in the middle of a swarm of children all clambering to get closer. I watched curiously as she picked something up from the ground and held it out in front of her. I was dumbstruck when I realized she was holding a turtle. It’s the kind of thing you can’t make up. If you wrote it in a story, the reader would scoff at such an unbelievable coincidence.

This incident got me thinking about the Law of Attraction and the belief that what we put out into the universe comes back to us. I know people who swear by the power of writing their goals down or saying them out loud. I decided maybe it’s time to give this theory a try and point it in a positive direction. So, here it goes. My goal is to finish writing and polishing my book in the next year.

Do you believe in this theory? Are you willing to try it with me? Let’s plan on revisiting this topic one year from now to see what happened.


Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Idaho



19 responses to “Don’t Pet the Turtles

  1. Meredith Conner

    November 15, 2012 at 6:18 AM

    I’m a believer. I think if you put your mind to something you can achieve it.

    • Jennifer

      November 15, 2012 at 8:16 AM

      Yes, I think maybe I put my mind to worrying too much and end up achieving that instead.

      • Ingrid Le Clair

        November 15, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        I really loved reading your blog. Turtles! Really? hahaha Now that I am a mom, I understand the worries one has over protecting our young ones! But, turtles?!?!
        I believe in the Law of Attraction! Are you surprised? (= I believe our thinking creates and brings to us whatever we think about. I guess the big questions is: Are you going to believe in god or not?

        My vision for the year: Settle into California.
        My visions for the next two years: Complete my second credential
        Buy a home
        I believe!

        • Jennifer

          November 15, 2012 at 2:56 PM

          And I believe you will do all of those things too Ingrid!

  2. Janis McCurry

    November 15, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    I’m on the fence. I THINK I’ve tried it and it hasn’t worked out…but maybe I gave up? I’m not sure. I know there are many things I’ve tried to put out there that haven’t proven out. It might be the cynic in me rearing its ugly head subconciously. I’m willing to try again.

    • Jennifer

      November 15, 2012 at 8:19 AM

      I’m a natural cynic myself. This incident was one of several similar things that happened to me in a matter of weeks where I seemed to “attract” the very thing that I feared.

  3. Judith Keim

    November 15, 2012 at 7:31 AM

    I don’t have a problem finishing a book but at this stage of writing I need more help and encouragement in visualizing my book published and in a book store. So, yay! I’ll work on it this year!

    • Jennifer

      November 15, 2012 at 8:29 AM

      When Laura Lee gave her presentation, she mentioned an RWA tradition of writing 3 wishes down (I say wishes because they weren’t goals but more like dreams you have that seem almost unachievable-for example: getting on the NYT bestseller list). She said she’d done it and the results were amazing. I figure it can’t hurt.

  4. Corina Mallory

    November 15, 2012 at 7:33 AM

    I believe in coincidence, setting goals, and that our minds are very powerful. I don’t so much believe that the universe sends us what we ask for or talk about. There’s some research out there suggesting that visualizing ourselves achieving a goal (which is a little different than what you’re describing) has the opposite of the intended effect. When we picture getting what we want, we get an approximation of the warm, fuzzy feelings that actually achieving the goal would bring. By getting the satisfaction early, we’re less likely to actually go out there and do the thing we’re visualizing in the first place. (It’s possible I’ve imagined finishing my book a few too many times!) BUT! I’m totally ready to share your goal. This time next year: finished and polished book.

    • Jennifer

      November 15, 2012 at 8:33 AM

      That’s interesting Corina. I haven’t heard about that research. I’m happy we share the same goal. Now, we can encourage eachother. 2013 is going to be our year!

  5. Peggy Staggs

    November 15, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    HA! A kindred worrier spirit. It has gotten to the point that when I tell my husband something the first words out of his mouth are, “Don’t worry, we’ll be fine.”
    At this point I’m willing to try anything. Cosmos, listen up!

  6. Jennifer

    November 15, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Peggy, next time I see you I’m going to give you a copy of a comic strip that I have. It’s about a lady who believes it’s her job to worry the world’s problems away because the things she worries about never happen. Hey, it’s a tough job but someone has to do it, right?

  7. stephanieberget

    November 15, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    I do believe if you see what you want and believe it, it will come to you. That doesn’t say you don’t have to work very hard while you are visualizing. Luck comes most often to those who are prepared. Now go to work on that book.

    • Jennifer

      November 15, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      Good point Steph. Maybe it’s a matter of creating our own “luck” – good or bad.

  8. marsharwest

    November 15, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Fascinating post, Jennifer. Sometimes when we first hear a piece of information, we then suddenly see examples of that everywhere. Like you and your turtle. I have to believe that was not the one and only turtle in the park. Your mind just hadn’t been pricked to be aware of them.

    Now I also believe that setting goals (concrete, measurable ones )work. In my RWA chapter, we set goals for ourselves and put them on cards. Three goals for each quarter of the year. Then we look at them as the year goes on to see how we’re doing. I don’t always reach them, and sometimes I have to re-order them, but I sure come closer to accomplishing what I want than before we started doing that.

    I don’t visualize enough, but I believe it can work. There are all kinds of examples in the sporting world where this works. Years ago, my mother gave me a tape (remember I said many years ago) called the Psychology of Winning by Dennis Waits. He’d interviewed a slew of sports figures, POWs, and Olympians.

    Basically our brains are like computers. If we put in garbage (the negative self-talk it’s so easy to fall into), nothing positive comes out. If we fill our brains with positives, write down our concrete measurable goals, plan and take the steps to make it happen, we’re way ahead of the game.

    Hmm. Now why don’t I weigh what I want? Why am I not finished with that 6th book? Why are their stacks of papers in my office? Lack of follow-through. The vision is just the first step. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to restablish this as what I believe, Jennifer. Now I just have to go and do!
    P.S. You’re new here, Jennifer. Welcome. I typically write a long response. I visualize a short response. Most everyone else can write a short one. Need to work on that follow through. Maybe next time. LOL

  9. Jennifer

    November 15, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Marsha – I like what you said about seeing examples once you hear something. It’s probably much more likely that I was hyper aware of it at the time. Also, it is so true about the negative self-talk. That’s something I’m really working on. Being the worrier that I am, I give way too much energy to negativity.

  10. maryvine

    November 15, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    I used to worry more when I was younger. I heard someone say, “I’ll keep on worrying about it, because the things I worry about never come to come to pass.” I also heard Michael J. Fox say something to the affect, if you worry about it and it comes to pass, you’ll have lived through it twice.
    I remember some time ago a writer on a writer’s group loop said we should say we are going to be published in a year. Some told her that goals should be attainable. She disagreed. She was published in that year. Just sayin’.

  11. Jennifer

    November 15, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Mary – I love what Michael J. Fox said. That needs to be my new motto 🙂 I’ve also heard someone say that worrying is like paying interest on a loan you haven’t taken out yet.

  12. Clarissa Southwick

    November 26, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Jennifer, I have a theory that worrying is genetic. I’m just waiting for scientists to announce that they’ve found that gene. Meanwhile, I wish you the best of luck with your novel. I hope it’s something that distracts from worry instead of adding to it. 🙂


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