Do you have a morning ritual? Besides coffee and some reading and writing, mine includes giving my dogs a walk around my neighborhood. Julia Cameron, creator/author of “The Artist’s Way,” insists daily walks can give us valuable insights. I couldn’t agree more. Today’s walk proved to be no exception.
As the dogs and I meandered down a favorite street, we passed a brick one-story that features a small bay window. I’m guessing this window is over the kitchen sink. I have a window similar to it, as do many homes in my neighborhood. These windows offer a nice view of what’s going on outside. Some include a couple of shelves; places to put a few knick-knacks, plants, or whatever else a person likes to look at as they are washing dishes. This one had that little feature.
So, today I noticed something startling – and yet it’s been so obvious. The items on the shelves in the brick one-story haven’t been moved, rearranged, or changed out since I moved to this area — in 1996. We’re talking 23 years! More than two decades! Seriously. Nothing in that window has changed. There’s the yellow ceramic cat, the blue vase, the white vase, a little teapot, and a few other random tchotchkes. All precisely where they’ve always been. For two decades. I’m also guessing the window hasn’t been cleaned in recent history. It’s foggy, gloomy, gray, tired-looking.
Here is this adorable feature on a pretty home in a nice neighborhood. And it looks like it has been completely neglected. Lost in time.
This observation made me pause and wonder: “What in my life have I neglected?”
There’s a lesson here. It can be so easy for any of us to fall comfortably and blindly into various types of stagnation. It could be how we tend to our homes or arrange the knick-knacks on a shelf. Or it could be something much broader and impacful: our health, our families and friends, our careers, our talents and interests, our dreams and ambitions, or even our opinions and beliefs.
In essence, how often do we put “things” in place – and then just leave them there? We consider the job done, the box checked. Then time, a relentless force, moves along and we scarcely give these “things” another thought. Perhaps we are afraid to take another look, to re-evaluate, to shift or make changes? Or perhaps we are distracted, overwhelmed with other “things.” Or it just never dawns on us that we can, could, or should give “things” some fresh attention. Lots of reasons and excuses. But at what price? Do we want everything about our lives to stay the same for decades? Are we that afraid of even small tweaks and cleanings?
What does a bay window and its lost-in-time contents bring up for you? What could you examine more closely, clean up, rearrange, or rethink in your world? Maybe it’s the photos on the fridge, the stuff on your desk, the folders in your file cabinet, or the clothes in your closet. Perhaps it’s something far more important.
Speaking of refreshes, I have some exciting projects brewing in 2019. I’m facilitating several workshops on conversation, connection, and collaboration this quarter. I’m also back at work on my new book. I hear again and again that people want to feel more authentic, at ease, and energized in their social and professional exchanges. Does that sound appealing, intriguing or beneficial to you or your team? Give me a call or send me an email. Let’s have a conversation about how I can be of service to you and your organization. My direct line is 512-970-8129. Or email me at patti[at]intentionalnetworker[dot]com.