26 Mar


It turns out there are things in life you can’t control.

I’m sure this isn’t news to you (I have a gift for the obvious, apparently).
It isn’t to me, either.

But one of the things I love (and to be truthful, hate) about change — about life, since change is inevitable — is how it constantly makes you check and recheck your thinking. How it shows you, sometimes rather dramatically, just how little you know or understand about yourself and your relationship to the world.

Each of those refigurings comes from a realization of change. A realization that the world you thought was, isn’t — you included — and suddenly you have to find your way all over again.

Which reminds you of all those things you don’t, and never will, control.

I’d like to think I have everything figured out. But I don’t. None of us do. All we can ever have are our beliefs, our values, our commitments, our constructs. All we can ever have are the frameworks we use to help us assess and understand ourselves, other people, and the patterns that exist amongst them all… and the knowledge that life will find a way to blow them up, each in turn.

It’s a topic I’m very curious about: What are the frameworks you use to make sense of it all? How have they changed? Which haven’t survived the test of life? Which have?

Image credit: UppyPhoto

  • http://www.paperscissorskeyboard.com Sherry Carr-Smith

    From a professional standpoint, my biggest lesson was learned while I worked at a frozen yogurt shop in college. I was constantly amazed at how angry people got over their yogurt treats (specifically if we were super busy and not moving fast enough for them). One summer night, after I’d worked a double shift and was very tired, a man kept yelling at me in front of the rest of the customers. Usually, I would just apologize and go on, but I was doing the best I could and got mad. Luckily, I stayed calm, but turned to him and said, “Sir, I am sorry that you are in such a hurry; but, as you can see, my co-worker and I are going as fast as we can while still making you a good sundae. If that’s not good enough for you, then that’s your issue, not mine.” The man was still grumpy, but stopped being a jerk. The point is, if you *know* you are doing the best you can, as quickly as you can, then that’s the best you can do. If it’s not good enough for someone else, then that’s on them, and not your problem. I know it’s simple, but it helps to keep things in perspective and is also a good benchmark for knowing if you are truly doing your best work.

    • Tamsen

      Sherry, thank you. I’m about 98.92% sure that the post that will follow this one will be about being true to yourself, and how that surety is a key to just about everything else in life. Your framework is a clear example of that — of understanding that as long as you’re living up to your own standards, you can be comfortable with not living up to others’.

  • http://socialmediamediasres.wordpress.com/ kevin.vonduuglasittu


    For some reason your question about frames reminds me of a wise thing said by novelist Toni Morrison “I know I can’t change the future, but I can always change the past”. Perhaps this is the most important frame of all. We all can get up in what is coming through the viewer, as it is happening, changing our focus, making sure we capture what is important. But when we realize that with each of our choices we are actively changing the meaning of our past choices, redeeming them (hopefully), this is a wealth beyond measure.

    Great post. Thanks for making me think.