Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – July 20, 2004
Connecting The Dots
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – July 20, 2004 – When I was a kid, my parents didn’t have a lot of discretionary income, so expensive and elaborate toys weren’t part of our lives. I had a couple of dolls – Stephanie my ballerina and Penelope a chubby doll with a cloth body and china arms, legs and head. I think I must have inherited her from someone else, because she also happened to be bald.
Her eyes opened and closed but never simultaneously, so I was forever shaking her so both eyes were open at the same time. I also had a little red dump truck with yellow and blue stripes and the words “Sand Dump” written on the side. I used to tie Stephanie and Penelope into the truck so they wouldn’t fall out and pull them around the house, giving them a running commentary of each room as we went.
I also had colouring books, lots of blank paper and a big box of 48 coloured crayons. That was about it for toys. At Christmas one year, Santa gave me a thick book, similar in size to a colouring book, but with dots on every page. The objective was to connect the dots, so the finished picture was of a house, an animal or a person. My end result didn’t always match the answer which was on the back of each page. I loved that book and it took me months to finish all the drawings. On occasion I might let a close friend or one of my brothers do a picture, but that didn’t happen very often.
For some reason I remembered that book today and wondered what happened to it. It was in my room at home for years, but eventually it probably went the way of a lot of childhood drawings and keepsakes – right into the trash can, during a spring cleaning. I recall sitting looking at the page and pondering which dots to connect and what the resulting picture would look like if I changed direction mid-stream. A rebel even as a child!
I thought how interesting it would be if life was like this – a series of dots on a life size board. At birth, each of us would be equipped with a great big pencil and we’d get to connect the dots, look at the outcome and then take it back if we weren’t pleased with the result. Actually, life is sort of similar to this. We’re born with certain talents and we have numerous opportunities to learn, make choices, change our minds and see what happens when we’ve connected the dots of our lives.
We can start over any time we want, but many of us forget this fact. If we don’t like the outcome of a choice we’ve made, we can make a different decision in the future. We can learn to think a different way, leave a relationship, change jobs, move to a new home, acquire a new skill, break a bad habit (it only takes 21 days), change our appearance, make new friends, go back to school, take a vacation, attend an educational course or plan a day at a museum or art gallery. In short we can re-draw our lives and connect the dots in a new way any time we want to do so.
Our lives aren’t carved in stone, they’re fluid and constantly changing. Staying stuck in a counterproductive habit, relationship or situation may seem like the only answer, but just for fun, try experimenting with the dots and see how your life changes when you connect them in a new way!