Following footsteps

footprintsA little while ago, my husband commented to our youngest that perhaps she would ‘follow in the footsteps’ of our older daughter in a certain aspect of life. The youngest daughters response was indignant. “Follow??? I’m going to be making my own footsteps, thank you very much, not following hers!” (She does an excellent ‘sass’ head manoeuvre and executed it to perfection in this instance.)

I love it that she has a strong sense of her individuality and wants to forge her own path.

Sometimes it’s too easy to just do what others have done, to retread the well worn paths. And there’s nothing wrong with following another’s footsteps or walking the same road – many many wonderful things have been done that way.

Yet, there is also a need to strike out on our own sometimes; to look up the shoreline of the beach and instead of walking in the footprints snaking up the sand, to head in a different direction, where the sand is untouched and smooth.

One of the things I love about my dad is that he is always looking for a ‘different’ way. And not just for the sake of it, but in order to improve and/or enhance whatever situation he was facing. The result is that I, too, look for ‘another’ way whenever a problem presents itself. My husband has adopted this way too (probably more from a ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’ philosophy than anything else!) so our problem solving conversations are peppered with “What if we…”

So often ‘what if’ is seen as a negative, a precursor to worry and we’re told to not ask ‘what if’. But let’s turn it around and use it positively.

Asking ‘what if’ can be a powerful springboard to a solution.

What if we forget about how something has always been done, and follow our instincts?

What if we ignore the nay-sayers and chase our dream?

What if we are the ones with just the right skill set to address that issue in our community?

What if….?

The possibilities are endless.

Next time you’re facing a challenge, try asking yourself a positive ‘what if’. You just never know where it might take you.

Sometimes, it’s the small things that separate

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I took this photo on our holiday earlier in the year. I was so struck by the ridiculousness of this tiny rock keeping these two big boulders separate.

It’s funny how small things can keep other things apart. Like people.

You know the scenario, a small issue with your spouse blows up into something huge and before you know it, you’re both going to bed shrouded in a heavy silence.

Or that work colleague who always uses your mug.

Or it might be a small word that keeps people apart, spoken in jest or in haste.

Sometimes it’s a small thing like a ‘sorry’ not said, or an ‘I love you’ that remains unspoken and forges a space in a relationship that might as well be a chasm.

Yes, sometimes it’s the small things that separate.

Those two boulders were huge; that stone in between was small. And you know what? Because I’m the curious-can’t-leave-anything-alone kind, I reached in and tried to move that small stone. It moved, quite freely too.

Often when we look closely at the things keeping us apart from others, we discover they are just small stones, that move quite easily when prodded. Don’t let the small things keep you separated from those who matter to you. Go on, give that small stone a wiggle and see what happens!

NB. For the record, I didn’t fully dislodge the stone. I’m not that silly!