Friday, November 13, 2009

Paper doll cutouts and making sense of $1.04

Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars. Henry Van Dyke
When was the last time you played hard? Laughed heartily? Looked silly? Danced in the rain? Ran barefoot through mud puddles? When was the last time you gave yourself permission to take off the mantle of 'being adult' to leap for joy at the sheer exhilaration of being alive, of having a place that is uniquely yours on this great big ball of energy spinning through space. A space where you can be wild. Be free. Be yourself. A place filled with limitless possibilities, unwritten pages and stories yet to unfold. When was the last time you had fun?

Well, today's the day. It's as good a day as any to throw off your ennui and get into life in a fun and enjoyable way. Remember, the number 1 rule? Don't take yourself so seriously!

Okay, so maybe it's not the no. 1 rule, but it is a good rule none-the-less.

Think about the last time you got into a kerfuffle about what someone said or did. Maybe it was like the conversation I overheard while walking along the river path the other day at noon. Two women, obviously out for their noon hour constitutional, walked quickly along. One woman listened as the other described in great detail what had happened at the store the evening before.

"I know it was only $1.04," she said. "But really. That teller was a bitch. When I pointed out the discrepancy between what she'd charged me and what the sale price was all she could say was, 'it doesn't come up on my computer. You'll have to go to Customer Service.' I mean, really. Who's the customer? It was just a $1.04. What was it to her?"

I wondered if maybe it was her job. Or a fear of breaking the rules. Or doing it wrong. Or doing it right. I wondered if maybe she had been on her feet all day and had run out of energy to argue or fix it or just do anything other than ring it in.

The other woman murmured quietly, walked along beside her workmate and nodded her head. Was she really listening or just being polite?

As we walked, the river flowed silently beside us. The sun shone. Sprinkles of sunlight danced on the water, warmed the air. Golden leaves dappled the ground. The sky was blue. Clear. Endless.

The women kept walking in front of me. The one woman went on to describe looking over at Customer Service and seeing a line up of four people. She talked about her fear of making a scene with people standing behind her, waiting their turn. Her disgust with this teller, a perfect stranger, whom she felt compelled to label. In the end, she said, "I wasn't going to make a big fuss over $1.04."

I was walking behind them. Not meaning to eavesdrop but it was pretty hard given the level of her voice. I couldn't change their conversation. I could change what I was doing.

I stopped to admire the sunlight on the river.

Ahh, the seriousness of our encounters on the road of life. The $1.04 incidents that rob us of the joy that is our birthright. The $1.04 moments that steal our peace of mind. That keep us from seeing the beauty of the world around us.

No more $1.04 thievery for me.

I'm kicking up my heels. Dancing in the rain and running straight into the waters of life, laughing and leaping for joy.

I'm not going to take myself so seriously $1.04 becomes the focal point of my day. I'm going to invest my $1.04 in having fun. In doing something silly. In creating enjoyment. Sunlight. Laughter. Joy.

As a little girl I loved to make Paper Dolls and play with them. When Alexis and Liseanne were younger, Alexis spent hours creating paper dolls for her sister. She had entire families of dolls complete with extensive wardrobes and accessories. They'd play with them for hours. I'd stand and listen to their laughter. Their stories as the dolls lived out their lives on the floor in front of them were filled with drama, possiblities, life.

This morning, I cut out a string of paper dolls. I wrote phrases from my Vision Statement on my dolls and strung them around my desk. My dolls danced and sang and laughed and leaped for joy as I smiled at my mastery as a paper doll maker.

It was fun. Silly. And empowering.

I invite you to join in. Get five pieces of 8 x 11 inch paper. Tape the long edges together so you have a length of paper -- 40 inches long. Fold each section of 8 x 11 in half and then half again (lol -- explaining how to fold paper is hard!). Now draw a doll on the top page. Cut out the doll and you should have a string of 10 dolls holding hands. (I hope!)

Go wild. Write on them. Give yourself messages of joy and laughter. String your dolls around your neck. On your desk. Pin them up on the wall. Dress them up. Colour them in. Light up your world.

As George Bernard Shaw once said, "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

Get playing! Get into the game of life and Have Fun!

The question is: What about you? Isn't it time you let loose? Kicked up your heels and did something silly? Isn't it your time?


Maureen said...

Your Rx for the day: It's the medicine we all can use.

Like the paper doll instructions. . . thinking of some creative ways to use the dolls for relationship appreciation.

Joyce Wycoff said...

Louise ... I love someone who can use the word kerfuffle in a sentence and tell us how to cut out paper dolls all in one post. You rock! And I'm going to try the paper dolls.