Friday, December 17, 2010

What I Want(ed) for Christmas

Sometimes as I go through life, I look around the world... I look at the people around me, and all I can see is what I WANT.

I want Drew's smile.
I want Sharon's imperviousness to criticism.
I want Amy's ability to collect friends.
I want Natalie's faith.
I want Lisa's patience.
I want Ryan's kindness.
I want Stacey's eloquence.
I want the body of nearly every Hollywood socialite gracing the checkstand magazines.
I want to write like That One Girl I Read But Whose Name I Don't Know.
I want Lucy's bravery.
I want John's popularity.
I want Dawn's strength.
I want Rachel's lack-of-caring-what-people-think-of-her.
I want a better natural dictionary in my head so I don't have to make up really long hyphenated words to describe what I'm thinking.
I want to sing like my sister.

I want, I want, I want.

I'm not sure that there is always negativity associated with seeing qualities in other people that you want to emulate.  I think seeing those things can push us to grow better character within ourselves.

But as I was watching The Voyage of the Dawn Treader last night...  I heard Aslan say to Lucy...  indeed, to me...  "You undervalue yourself."  Actually... that wasn't the exact quote... I KNEW I should have texted it to myself so I wouldn't forget.  But that was the gist.  And it made me realize that when I look at the people around me... and as I deeply long to be like Whoever...  I undervalue who I was meant to be.  As I strive to be the people I admire, I stop being the person THEY admire, and the person I was meant to be.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Adventures with Daddy.

Apparently the story goes like this...

Casey wanted to make a cup of hot apple cider.  So she filled a cup with water and put it in the microwave to heat.  After turning it on, it caught on fire.  She ran upstairs, yelling "DAD DAD DAD!  THE MICROWAVE IS ON FIRE!!!!!"

He jumped downstairs, opened it up, blew out the remaining sparks... and then explained carefully to ALLLL the children that we don't put METAL CUPS in the microwave as they will self-combust.

"Oh."  Casey said.  "I thought that was plastic."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Get Your Mitts Off My Boat!

I've been reflecting a lot recently on the nature of change and how we react to it.  There are a number of different situations in my life... some that I'm closely connected to, others that I'm simply aware of and watching in spectator-fashion... that involve change.  It's been very interesting to observe how people react when changes happen.  Overwhelmingly, there seems to be an initial response of panic.

Most of us, sometime in our lives, have been in a small boat on the water...  a canoe, a raft, a rowboat.  There is always that initial physical reaction when the boat gets rocked.  Maybe another boat has bumped into yours, maybe someone in your boat has suddenly stood or leaned out to grab a passing stick, maybe you've found yourself being attacked by the Loch Ness Monster (ok, maybe that was just me).  But without even thinking about it, your entire body tenses, your arms jump out to hold on to the side, and you automatically lean to whichever side will stop the loss of equilibrium.  Your mind hasn't had time yet to catch up with what is happening and needs to be done. But your body immediately knows "Something is different and it needs to stop NOW."

I find it is the same with change.  It doesn't even matter if the change is self-directed or if it's something inflicted on you by outside influence.  Until your mind sorts it all out, there is panic and confusion.  Nothing is what your mind expected it to be.  We order ourselves based on routines, based on the expectations of certain things staying the same.  When those things change, sometimes the only thought we have is "Things are not right" and I think it scares us.

We like to think that we are in control.  We know that there are millions of things out there that we have no say in.  We don't get to dictate them, and so we order our lives and our responses to those things in such a way that we feel like we are in charge.  Change breaks that sense of control and reminds us that we really don't get to call all the shots.

But, there comes a moment, when you're in that boat, that your mind catches up to your physical panic.  It takes in all the information, analyzes it, and you relax when you realize that the rocking was for the good.  Maybe it brought you closer to shore, maybe it brought you alongside a friend's boat for laughter and camaraderie, or maybe it was simply to avoid an oncoming collision.  Despite your trepidation, things are better now than they were before and you can once again order your world and feel like you are in charge.
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