Recently while traveling on a plane with my daughter, Drew, I took an hour away from work and read one of her humorous books, “Timmy Failure.”
Timmy’s family’s historical name was “Fayleure,” but it was mysteriously changed years ago. Timmy Failure is a “secret detective” and his best friend and business partner is a lovable polar bear, named Total. Thus, his business card reads “Total Failure, Inc.” The book is very playful and quite hilarious, and there is one small piece of the book that I just loved.
To overcome the jokes that naturally come along with Timmy’s name, he continually writes out one word that he aspires to embody: “Greatness.” Sadly, he aspires for greatness only in his imaginary detective world, and his grades leave a lot to be desired throughout the book, but the principles in the book speak to something higher (and by the way thanks to an innovative teacher his grades do improve).
Throughout the book we learn that Timmy comes from a single-parent household, that is troubled financially, and he turns to his imagination to find joy and creativity. Of course, the author is using quite a bit of liberty in sharing that Timmy’s pet and business partner is a polar bear, but all is shared in good fun.
So why do I write to you about this seemingly silly book? I found it very interesting that in a playful way, the author touches on so many powerful subjects: loneliness, the power of imagination, relationship struggles, the importance of a mentor, the importance of loving your work or finding work you love, friendship, honesty, learning, and so much more.
When children’s literature reflects the needs and values of adult culture, I think it says something. Deep down, I believe there is a craving that has emerged, and I hear of more people rebelling against the notion that more equal more. I see communities building play structures and parks in the middle of the properties, and I even recently noticed a community where it advertised that the “front porch” has returned.
There is an ebb and flow when it comes to expansion and contraction of productivity and advancement in society and reading this book reminded me that what is most precious is the quality of time we spend participating in fulfilling and nurturing activities with people who uplift our spirits.
I am not implying every day should look and feel like Disney, but I think many of us are craving more picnics, better conversations, and more quality time.
There is a scene in “Timmy Failure” where his evil counterpart, Corrina Corrina, is supposedly journaling in her own crime detective diary. But what she writes about is how let down she is that her father is unattentive and emotionally and physically absent. She is known as the “richest” girl in town and yet she feels very poor.
As I read this I felt as though a dream had come true as Drew and I took a daddy/daughter trip this past week and laughed and played and swam together with joy. I feel so very fortunate to be able to have these experiences and I often am very aware that I am making healthy memories for her (for me, too).
There is something so precious about health, and growth and life experiences that uplift and renew and we hope that you too can connect with opportunities and experiences that leave you feeling balanced, connected, and more whole.
Timmy Failure would probably say that you too are living out a life touched and filled with “Greatness.”
• Dr. Jason Kolber is a licensed doctor of chiropractic and a certified life coach. He can be contacted at (480) 704-2787 or www.livinginline.com.