Bendy ChickThursday, May 09, 2013
My daughter Katie attended elementary school with another Chinese adoptee by the name of Maggie. Though the two girls look nothing alike, people have always gotten them mixed up. This happened recently when a boy greeted Maggie by saying, “Aren’t you that bendy chick?” I laughed when I heard about it, because Katie is the bendy one, able to twist her wrists in a complete circle or bend her fingers straight back until they touch her hand. She’s the most flexible person I know.
When it comes to having peace, flexibility is an asset. I’m not talking about moral flexibility, of course—changing our values to fit the environment we’re in. What I’m talking about is finding ways to keep the big things big and the small things small.
So much of our stress comes from how we react to little things, like a messy house, a slow driver, a disappointing holiday. Unreasonably high expectations can wreak havoc on our sense of peace. But sometimes peace comes when we learn to lower our expectations, as long as doing so harms no one.
To find out how bendy you are, take note of the things that bother you this week. Consider making a daily list. At the end of the week, place a check next to the big things and a circle next to the small ones. Try to see if there’s a pattern in your response to the little things that bothered you—a need for control, an inability to tolerate loose ends, a streak of perfectionism. Then cross out everything with a circle beside it and consider how much better your week might have been had you responded to the little things more flexibly. In the days ahead, do your best to become a bendable person who is able to major on the majors and minor on the minors.
(Image courtesy of katerha at flickr.com.)