Friday, July 17, 2009

What's in your VIEWFINDER?

It was the 70’s version of the iPod. We all had one and traded the disks with our friends. “I’ll trade my Scooby-Doo for your Speed Racer!” I can still hear the crunch-slide sound of the handle advancing to the next frame. The View Master™. Very similar to binoculars in shape, this toy was good for hours of enjoyment as my cousins and I relived our favorite movies and cartoons frame-by-frame. The images on each slide were incredibly lifelike as they jumped off the plastic squares set inside the white cardboard disk. I am sure this toy was not meant to be life-changing but this week during a moment of nostalgia I was struck by a new view. Like the View Master™, can you maneuver a quick change? It is 3:55 pm and you have just walked in the door from work, ready to get the kids off the bus. As you enter, you realize something has gone completely awry. It appears as though the dog wasn’t in his crate when you locked it this morning in your mad rush out the door. As you can hear the dog’s whining coming from behind your youngest child’s bedroom door. As you walk closer toward the room you see a strange pattern in the living room rug that you had not noticed before. In a panic, you throw the door open and there is your mutt bounding around in a fluffy pile made up of one single strand of what used to be your living room carpet. One taste of a loose thread on the bedroom side of the door had that dog pulling for all he was worth – all the live-long day. You now own a visible illustration of the word ‘zigzag’ down the center of your family room rug. You sink to the floor imagining your spouse finding out about the “Incredible Unraveling Pooch” when your attention is diverted by, “Mom! Mom! I made the team/got the lead in the play/got an A on my test!” Crunch-slide Time for a quick change. Choose to be in the moment – the good one. Like the View Master™, can you look beyond the foreground? When my husband came home for lunch on Wednesday what he witnessed upon walking in the kitchen almost made his head turn inside out. There were six women sitting around our kitchen table and seven children darting over, under and through every bit of available space. Two two-year olds were screeching and pulling on opposite ends of a tricycle. One little one was skipping aimlessly and bumping into everything. A mom was giving her daughter an insulin shot while the girl’s two brothers took turns throwing a ball at our ceiling fan. And then there was the sweet little boy using a mallet to smash the bajeebies out of a cracker on the linoleum right at my husband’s feet. My husband chose to focus on the foreground. The women around his table were planning the Holiday Party for Berks County’s children in foster care. Over two hundred children will be treated to quite the event this December. These children who have been removed from their homes (albeit with their best interest in mind) will craft, dance, play and receive gifts and a visit from Santa. This happy day will create smiles on faces that may not have stretched in that direction for quite some time. They will reconnect with their innocence, something some of them lost way too soon. This apparent chaos was simply the background for something priceless. Like the View Master™, it might be time to change the disk. How many times did you crunch-slide through the “if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids” frame before you begged for a new disk? How many times could you stand to watch Speed Racer win before wanting to frisby-toss the disk across the room? How many times are you going to say, “I will never act that way/lose my temper/be so gullible again!”? How many times will you oversleep/be irresponsible/act disrespectfully? How many times can you stand to watch this disk you have come to know as your life? As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that workin’ for ya?” You know it’s time to try something new, change your pattern or make a choice for the better, so do it! I am not sure why the View Master™ struck me this way after so many years but I believe many of us need to experience this new twist on a classic toy; one that evidently can teach a huge lesson. Everyday we need to know when to make a quick change, when to focus on the foreground and when to change for the better. Life’s too short to crunch-slide through the same old patterns. Change your disk, make a difference! ---------------------------o0o---------------------------- As always, I write to touch the lives of people I may never meet so if you enjoyed this post PLEASE FWD this link to those you think it could touch who may NOT stumble upon my blog otherwise. Thanks!

9 comments:

MaBunny said...

Wow did that ever bring back memories! Thanks Michelle! My view finder was black , as I recall, and I had Cinderella, and other assorted Disney discs, as well as some animal ones...I loved mine:)

~Issy said...

Michelle, i loved this post of yours and have forwarded (is that a word?!?) to several of my blog friends. I sometimes hear that Dr. Phil line in my ear ("How's that workin' for ya, Issy? Not good, eh?) when things don't work as i think that they should.

btw, could you keep us updated on the Holiday Party your are planning for the children in foster care? I would love to hear more about it...

Theresa said...

Great post...as usual.

Love T

Kirsten said...

We still have a viewfinder, of course now the disks are of Dora and Spongebob! I'll forward this along, and I ALWAYS have your link on my own blog ~ you are one of my faves!

noexcuses said...

Wonderful post...very thoughtful! Thanks for making me stop for a minute and think about my day!

Shellie said...

That was beautiful. Keep the perspective. Plus, I loved those viewmaster toys...those were the days.

Kim Wheedleton said...

Well said, Michelle.

Brenda said...

Great way to look at things!

Hally said...

Can I get an AMEN?! (for living in the moment) It's all about priorities. The mess will still be there, but will your child's joy?

I ADORED my ViewFinder and stole my brother's Star Wars ones all the time.