Where do I start? Do you ever feel like your head is full with a story, thoughts and words all coming through at once, like a traffic jam. But as soon as you sit down to type and let it all out, it’s like all that traffic has reached a bottle neck, and now nothing can get through? Maybe not? Probably not! But that’s how it is for me today . . .
So here we go . . . today I received a belated birthday gift. I’ve been waiting and anticipating it for 6 weeks or so, but I knew it was coming, I just didn’t know when. I knew my friend was anxious about whether I’d like it or not, perceiving one aspect of it as me, but then she wasn’t sure about it overall. I had previously tried to reassure her, that given I’m on my own journey of self-discovery and working out who I am, whatever the gift is, the aspect she is not sure about . . . may well turn out to be something that I’m already contemplating, or maybe I need to explore.
And so today when my friend approached holding the gift, declaring it as “unusual, and a little bit different” I was feeling somewhat pressured (in myself) to ensure an appropriate response, so as not to disappoint her, but at the same time knowing I am terrible at pulling off a poker face. It’s for this reason that I don’t particularly like receiving gifts. But for all of the same reasons as my friend, while I like to give gifts, I hate being in the position as the gift giver, because like her, I want to give the perfect gift. And so I know all about wanting the supportive evidence of this, in the recipient’s response.
So with friends standing by, watching me unwrap my gift, my anxieties were already amplified. All the more so when the wrapping was off and the box was revealed and my mind was not able to comprehend what my eyes were seeing. And there goes my moment of opportunity . . . to give the supportive evidence in the ultimate response to the perfect gift. In pulling it out of the box, I first thought I was looking at some sort of artistic tool for drawing or painting or cutting or something . . . and my mind dashed back to my own words of “… it may well turn out to be something that I need to explore.“ and in that moment more fear gripped me, as I had no idea what it was, for me to explore, much more fearing “What would this lead me to explore?” But then my friend graciously explained it’s a pen that is actually a multi-functional tool. So it was confirmed, it’s not just a ballpoint pen! It’s so much more!!! It’s a ruler. It’s a spirit level. It’s a stylet for my phone. And as I unscrewed it at each end, to expose its inner most parts, there’s the ink cartridge (of course) and a screw driver (for both Phillips and Flat head). Hellooo McGyver! Now I just need some gum. Or maybe more Maxwell Smart . . . lol!
Then on my way home from church this afternoon, I remembered some thoughts I had had during the week, in some moments of feeling a little overwhelmed. Overwhelmed, as I try to perfect the art of managing my full time job, writing for 2 blogs (this being one of them), working at my new business venture in essential oils, keeping up with the administration of life and the domestic duties of maintaining my home, maintaining a healthy lifestyle which includes going to the gym, and then to still have a social life. “Have I taken on too much? How do I do it all?”
Then this afternoon I felt like this pen had something to say about that. And if any pen can talk, then this would be the pen that could:
“A pen that is just a regular pen is built just for that purpose of being a pen. But look at me! I was not built as a regular pen, but as a multi functional tool, with capacity far greater than that of ‘just’ a pen. My external capacity that you can see is not the sum total of my whole capacity. The capacity you can’t see, the internal parts you did not know about until you opened up to see inside of me, holds more equipment. Equipment put there by the one who made me, to be used for the purpose ‘he’ designed it for. Relax in knowing that while all my functions are there ready to use at any time, I am not utilising all my functions at all times. But each function is called on as needed, for its purpose in that moment of time.”
At this point I had a little mental picture of my new multi functional tool trying to pull off all of its functions at once, which of course is impossible, as it cannot use the pen and the stylet at the same time as they are at opposite ends. Likewise the pen and the screw driver (inside the stylet) are at opposite ends. But I did have a humorous moment imagining what Pixar would and could do with this short comic.
Then I got to thinking . . . we are all just like that gift. On the outside we may look like ‘a pen.’ But we are not ‘just’ a pen. We may even already know that we are more than that ‘a pen, with a ruler, a spirit level, and a stylet.’ But do we stop it there? What else is on the inside? Because there is still more, if we will just open up to expose our inner most parts, to see what is revealed, that can be put to use for the purpose it was designed for.
Here’s a few thoughts:
- We’re all a little unusual, a little bit different. But that’s what makes us unique.
- We all have anxieties about opening up ‘gifts and abilities’ that we are unsure about. Is it really me? Is it not me? Well, sometimes we won’t know until we explore them.
- We put pressure on ourselves because we don’t want to disappoint, or be disappointed. And we expect to ‘know’ from the start, but sometimes the ‘knowing’ doesn’t come until later as a result of exploring the ‘gift or ability’ further and learning how to use it.
- The initial response is not always a reliable one, but how the ‘gift or ability’ functions in it outworking, is a much better reference point.
And one final hilariously stretching thought . . . while my multi functional tool currently holds 5 functions, the box actually reads: ‘one touch stylus 9 function tool pen’ which means it still has the potential for even more capacity than what it currently holds. These additional four functions are in the purchasing of additional pieces to become an inkball pen, a fountain pen, or a pencil with an eraser.
So with all this in built capacity for growth and expansion . . . in the midst of my humorous Pixar imagination, I did feel the subtle punchline blow of what does need to be dealt with:
“While it may be a juggling act as you move between functions, that’s all the more reason to maximise the effective use of your time, and let procrastination go.” BOOM!