Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss
What do the symbols you present say about you?
Perhaps in this age of texts and tweets and emoticons, symbols are used more than ever before.
We add ‘xo’ and ‘<3’ to the ends of notes to loved ones.
🙂 and 😦 display our emotions which help the reader understand the many non-verbal conversations we have with one another, hoping to ensure that our meaning is not lost in translation.
Are symbols fairly new to us and based on electronic communications? Many are but in the case of x’s and o’s, these have represented kisses and hugs for generations.
Let’s consider the other symbols that surround us:
Math provides us with a myriad of symbols, both positive or negative. Either adding or multiplying to our experience or negatively deducting from our source.
But what other symbols surround us in our daily existence?
As we age, we develop wrinkles and laugh lines. Someone meeting us for the first time sees these symbols of experience and make deductions. They start to assess our age and place themselves in relation to us. Are we older, younger, by how much?
One of my favourite lines from the song Happy Baby by Shaye is: “These lines upon my face, I’d be a fool to erase ’cause they show my place in this world.” Yet so many of us, women in particular, are obsessed with hiding our age. Who are we really trying to deceive?
What about visible scars? Do they symbolize a difficult life? A serious accident? A birth defect?
Our clothes? Symbols of societal stature?
Cars: Symbols of financial class or moral standing?
Houses: what does the size of our homes symbolize to passersby?
Choice of vacation spots: financial, educational, or a symbol of our stage in life?
The books we read. The movies we watch. Do we play video games or not?
Our lives are full of symbols; symbols that others use to define us and that we use to define ourselves.
As our friend Forrest Gump stated in the video on my post “Life is like a box of chocolates…”, “there’s an awful lot you can tell about a person by their shoes; where they’re going; where they’ve been.” These are images of ourselves that we portray, for the most part, without even realizing it. But you can’t know the whole story until you the know the whole person.
Enjoy Happy Baby by Shaye – great song, great message, great Canadian group.
Life is full of surprises and twists and turns. Some wonderful, some not.
You may start off in one direction and end up somewhere quite unexpected.
You may meet someone who changes your trajectory. They may present options to you that you hadn’t considered and venture down an unexplored path. Perhaps a promotion offers a career direction that leads you to further challenges.
Some of these twists and turns may end up being the things you look back on and categorize as ‘mistakes’. Did you learn anything from your so-called ‘mistake’? If so, then perhaps it should be considered a lesson. Is it a mistake only if you repeat it?
Reaching into your box of life-chocolate, you pull out your favourite one. Do you gobble it up and reach in again for another or do you savour it slowly trying to make it last?
Do you enjoy being surprised by the selections or are you more the type that prefers to check the map and select your chocolate carefully, considering all the options and leaving the unpleasant ones for last, or for someone else?
Some would say that isn’t living; that life should be experienced as it unfolds.
Some would say that is living with intention; you have a plan, desires, and you intend to see that you reach your goals.
Is one method more right than the other? Is one method more right for you?
You may never know what life will throw your way, but if you make a map, there are less surprises; for better or worse, the choice is yours to make.
Are you a read-the-map person or a take-what-you-get sort?
However, there are times when things are definitely easier than others.
What is hard for someone, may be easy for others, and vice versa.
Sometimes we put pressure on ourselves and make things more complicated than they need to be. And then there are times when we don’t try at all and wonder why it didn’t work out or go our way.
Sometimes the best solutions are the ones that are so simple they don’t even cross our minds.
How simple? Think:
Peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
Grilled cheese sandwiches.
Cheese and crackers.
Milk and cookies.
In other words: Comforting. Familiar. Easy.
Can this way of thinking be applied to problem solving? Often, yes.
Sometimes we struggle so hard and long to find a way to:
resolve a conflict;
repair bad feelings;
lift someone’s spirits,
When your child is upset, just sitting beside them holding their hand may be all they need to feel better – to know that they are not alone and they are loved.
Change of seasons?
Change of tactics?
Change of scenery?
Change of pace?
Change the channel?
Change your mind?
Change a tire?
Change a diaper?
Change your clothes?
Change your attitude?
The correct change?
Change for the better?
Change is as good as a holiday?
Change is what you need?
Change can kick-start a whole new outlook?
“People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they’re really saying is that something you didn’t want to happen at all, has happened.”
Meg Ryan, You’ve Got Mail
True or False: Do you think change is for the better?
I have always said that I love spontaneity – but only if it’s my idea.
Do I feel the same way about change?
If you believe as I do, that everything happens for a reason, then I guess you could conclude that change is a good thing. Or is it?
Perhaps change is simply inevitable.
There are many inevitable things:
Life = good
Aging = good for a while
Death = not so good
So then is change something that is out of our control?
Some changes we purposely create, for better or worse (I’ll let you categorise them for yourself):
Moves – to new jobs, houses, cities, countries
Face-lifts, nose-jobs, tummy tucks, tattoos
New hair-styles or colour, clothes, shoes
Live together, split up, marriage, divorce
What is positive change for one person could be devastating for another depending on their life circumstances and how much control they had over the change.
Some changes we have collectively and inadvertently created:
Extinction of species
As humans, we are not perfect and we make mistakes.
What we haven’t learned yet is how to learn from our mistakes.
Some changes we refuse to make, or make quickly enough:
End to world hunger
End to wars and civil unrest
End to poisoning our air, soil and water
They seem simple enough to change when you see them in black and white, especially when you realise that all three boil down to one thing – greed.
Do we categorize good change as that which we can affect and bad change as that which is out of our control?
Whether on purpose or not, good or bad, some change is inevitable. Some might even call it fate.
But where we have control over change for the better, particularly where the health of ourselves and our planet is concerned, why wouldn’t we act to bring about change – now?
How about this for a change: let’s change our tune.
Let’s change our reaction – or non-action – into making a difference before inevitable becomes irreversible.
Change your perspective.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mother Theresa.