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Day 155 - Conga Line!


Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: slgckgc

When the map doesn’t comport with the ground, the map is wrong.

— Gordon Livingston

In his book, [amazon-product text=”The Road Less Travelled” type=”text”]0743243153[/amazon-product], M. Scott Peck wrote that much of our pain is caused by our unwillingness to recognize reality when we see it.  We go through life seeing the world through our own set of glasses and reacting to what we see rather than reacting to what is.

In some sense, I agree with Peck.  But at the same time what I keep re-learning over and over is that reality is subjective.

For years, I was “blind as a bat.”  If I took my glasses off, I literally couldn’t see the ground in front of me.  Considering that I’m only 5’3”, the ground isn’t that far away but I couldn’t see well enough to walk safely.

It was so bad that when I was a sophomore in high school, I fell down the stairs into the basement doing the Conga in Wonderful Town.  You can say it’s because I’m clumsy, but in this case I just couldn’t see the stairs and thought I’d reached the bottom. Ooops!  My reality didn’t match the physical world.

The Lucky Part

Lately, I’ve been worrying a lot.  Money is tight and I’ll redo the budget in my head, moving money from one bucket to the next trying to have “enough.”  But the surprising part is that while today I may be worried, tomorrow I feel grateful for what I do have.  It’s all a matter of “mood.”

The same thing is true of how I view my time.  Some days I feel as if I have plenty of time and other days it seems as if my whole day is taken up with work – another example of mood influencing attitude.

So, what is reality?  I guess it’s what you make of it.  Where I work, the temperature lately has been ranging from 100°-110°.  At home, it’s mostly been between 80° and 90° with occasional trips into the 100’s.  It seems soooo hot at home and then I go into work and guess what, home seems much cooler than it did when I was there.

I’m lucky.  I have a working air conditioner and I can choose to run it or to sweat.  With the latest in meter technology, I can figure out how much it’s costing me to cool the house and I can turn up the thermostat.  I can get in the car and go to the library, or a bookstore, or Starbucks, or a movie, and let someone else pay the power bill.

Or, I can sweat.

The lucky part is that I have a choice.

Get Up Eight Times

Peck is probably right.  Much of our pain is caused by our unwillingness to accept reality – and some reality is truly harsh.

But, Peck is also wrong.  It was reality that I fell down those stairs doing the Conga – and my parents probably wanted to crawl under their seats in the auditorium.  But, in the end, no teenagers were harmed in the staging of Wonderful Town and I learned a valuable lesson: Fall down seven times, get up eight times.  When you get back up and keep on dancing, things aren’t that bad.  You just gotta CONGA!

A note to our younger readers:  The Conga was an old line dance, only instead of people dancing side-by-side, they danced one behind the other.  To see Bea Arthur in Wonderful Town, click here.

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