Saturday, January 14, 2012

Refining the One Little Word

Late last year, long before I’d finishing mourning the demise of our local Borders store, a new bookshop opened in its place. It’s one of those discount ones, where (almost) everything is only $5. I’ve spent many a blissful hour wandering around in there, and have the satisfyingly burgeoning pile of books-yet-to-be-read here at home to prove it. (I maintain to Husband that books don’t count as purchases. They are Investments. Come to think of it, the same argument could be made for scrap supplies...)

The only drawback to this little piece of heaven is that, apart from “Fiction” and “Non-Fiction”, there is absolutely no logic nor order as to what goes where. Jackie Collins cuddles up next to Charlotte Bronte. The Shining is sandwiched between Great Expectations and Atonement. If you like organisation and alphabetisation, this is not the place for you. In fact, I know someone (and you know who you are, my charmingly self-proclaimed OCD friend) who, in protest, won’t even go in there.

Not me. I treat it as a treasure hunt, and am duly rewarded – every single time.

Yesterday, as I floated out of there, hugging a John Banville novel, while trying to flick through my new book on art journaling without colliding into too many strangers, I had a One Little Word epiphany (see, there was a scrapbooking point to all this). And it was this:

Seeing isn’t a passive activity. Just as I’m prepared to spend time hunting through the thousands of books in the shop for the possibility of unearthing a gem or two, so too if I’m going to really see and discover moments and opportunities this year, I’m going to have to be ready to pursue those moments and opportunities as I catch a glimpse of them. Simply noticing without responding does no good at all.

For example: two days ago, my son asked me to play Monopoly with him, “just the two of us, Mum.” It did actually occur to me at the time that this was exactly the kind of opportunity to play or connect that I’d anticipated - also, that nine times out of ten, I’d probably feel there was something more pressing to do first. So I played, and it was great. (Especially since I won convincingly. There’s no mercy in Monopoly).

Now, if I’d just thought, “Wow! This is exactly the kind of moment I anticipated! I’m so glad I picked up on that," and then did nothing about it, I would have completely wasted the opportunity. I may as well not even have seen it. So, genuine seeing has to be active, with some kind of response, or it’s meaningless. Which reminds me of that Brooke Fraser lyric, “Now that I have seen, I am responsible.”

Went back and added the word “actively” under “see” on the layout, just so as not to forget. No excuses now!

Philosophising over. The second week of the year is complete, as is my second layout:

For some reason, Joel layouts always seem to come together quickly; maybe because my preferred style of working, with minimalist clean lines, seems to echo and express the meticulous, logical aspects of his personality. Don’t know. But it’s fun.

Have a wonderful week; I’m off to curl up with a book. Ah, Sunday afternoons…

1 comment:

  1. Yet another interesting way of looking at your chosen word Dani. It's good to find new meaning within a word to make it more meaningful to YOU!