Wednesday, April 13, 2011

That's Twenty-Two Dollars Well Spent

Sometimes, you have to find a way out of your own head. When you care deeply about something, you want to give your energy to it. But what happens when you dole out too much power to one single thing? Well, I'll tell you. You become the person you never wanted to be. You know the one I'm talking about. Driven by an inability to see past that one frustrating thing, she somehow finds a way to direct the conversation, maybe even every conversation, to her issue.

And so, here was my charge: Do something, whatever I possibly could, to take some of that misplaced power back. Then, go and put it somewhere else. I'm proud to report that I actually managed the goal for the day. I'd like to say I achieved something visionary like discovering how to balance all things that matter in life--marriage, work, friendships, spirituality, community. No, not quite. Here's what happened instead.

I got frustrated by something beyond my control. I stewed about it. I talked with friends about it. Exhausted from last night's bout of insomnia, I became overcome with weariness about it. I knew I had shift my focus, to make myself put energy somewhere new, but I was so darned tired I didn't know how. Until . . . a thought occurred to me. Consignment shop! In case you can't quite tell, I LOVE consignment shops. I adore everything about them--the racks arranged by color, the discovery of just the thing, the comfort of finding a bargain, and the sheer possibility of it all.

Mercifully, the plan worked. Within minutes, gazing across the variety of shoes, I stopped obssessing about what I couldn't fix, and started to think about color, fit, and style. Surrounded by blues and greens, I began to envision spring. And even better, I found something for summer: a sporty tank for volleyball. Oh yes, one day our toes really will be back in the sand. Did I end up changing the world tonight? Not even close. But I did find a way to change my perspective, and some days that feels like accomplishment enough.

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