I’m a huge Ted Lasso fan (if you haven’t watched the show, you should. It’s fantabulous depiction of real life topics. Love, marriage, divorce, suicide, panic attacks, doing the right thing, doing the wrong thing and owning it…). I’m such a fan that I joined several Ted Lasso pages on Facebook, bought a tote that says, “Be a Goldfish. Happiest Animal on the planet,” a mug that says, “Boss Ass Bitch,” and another that has all the names listed, with a particular one scratched out, and so many “Believe” stickers. With all that being said, when someone posted about Rebecca, the owner of the fictional Richmond Football Club, I was hit in the face with a dose of reality. I am a Red Panda
And it made me realize how much like Rebecca’s character I am.
I’m not nearly as prickly nor am I as strong as she is, but when I feel threatened this is how I react. I get big and loud. I extend my claws. I yell. I react.
Recently, we had a family interaction that brought out the Red Panda in me.
You see, I’ve worked my entire adult life to build my brand. Inclusivity. There is always room for one more at our table. If you don’t have a place to go for holidays, our door stands open, our arms are waiting with hugs, and love abounds. It’s my thing. And I always thought it was something the kids loved about me and the house that raised them.
For my birthday one year Claire gave me a card with a wooden plaque on the front that says,
For Christmas of 2020 Zach gave me a book titled “You and Me, Mom.” It’s a back and forth of getting to know one another better. He started filling it out before he gave it to me. And this is one of the pages he filled out.
Inclusion has always been my thing, because I was excluded, on the outside one too many times to ever intentionally exclude people. I do set boundaries to protect myself and our family, but my default mode is inclusion.
Which brings me to the family interaction that brought out Red Panda. We were told, in no uncertain terms, that certain people were going to be excluded from an upcoming event. Red Panda came roaring out. I felt threatened. It felt, to me, like everything I built, everything I gave to everyone was being thrown to the side. That my brand was outdated, antiquated, not wanted. “This isn’t how we do things in this family,” I said. “We include people,” I said.
Red Panda made her mark in the absolute worst possible way. Where I was trying to protect myself and my brand, I left others feeling threatened. I’m sure my red panda moments will still occur when it comes to protecting myself and my brand, but now I know and can work to correct it when needed.