Do you ever have those “what’s it all about Alfie?” days. You’re feeling slightly off, unbalanced, tired.
About ten years ago I went through too many of those days. Single parenthood, hustling kids to school, careening to work, dealing with inmate and staff problems, repeat…you get the picture.
Too many of those days took their toll, and I didn’t have the correct change.
During one particularly stressful day I spent my lunch hour wandering through a bookstore–a micro vacation for me. And that’s when I found my wisdom in a box, a set of 64 colorful cards written by Louise Hay, metaphysical lecturer and author.
The back of the box read “A Deck of 64 Affirmation Cards to Help You Develop Your Inner Wisdom.” A few colorful cards decorated the box.
Hmm. Can one buy wisdom? I loved the crown in the center, the colors made me smile, so I decided it was worth a shot to purchase the box. A souvenier of my micro-vacation.
Sitting in my car I unwrapped my new little treasure, shuffled the cards, and pulled one out.
“Okay, what do you want to tell me,” I said.
“Really? ” was the first thing that came out of my mouth. “This is the way it’s supposed to be?”
And then I flipped the card over.
That imperceptible shift that turns the “Ugh” into an “Ah-ha” moment came. I was doing, because that’s what working mothers do. I wasn’t envisioning the garden motif in the card. I wasn’t cultivating a garden.
My picture had a blurry Ford Explorer passing a blurred elementary school, with three fuzzy kids at a school gate, and me in the drivers seat, putting on makeup, the dim job site in the distance.
Rereading the card led me to think about my attitude. I extended my micro-vacation in my car, for a few minutes, and asked myself:
What can I do to enjoy my life, right now, as is?
I thought about how life is but a brief moment. There is an ebb and flow, ups and downs. My kids will grow up in a flash, this particular time in my life will come to an end.
I came up with a couple of ways, primarily shifts in attitude, to “enjoy the process,” of my life. It’s okay to start small, as long as you start somewhere, I told myself.
The last line on the card echoed in my mind: I choose to enjoy the process.
The feeling stayed with me for a couple of hours, and it made a difference. I repeated the quote often. It was a new beginning.
Ten years later I still shuffle the cards, pick one up and reflect on its message. More often than not I find value and pertinence to whatever I’m doing that moment.
You can find wisdom in many places: from a child, a book, a trial in your life, an event or from a colorful box at the bookstore.
Where do you find wisdom?