Tag Archives: personal change

Of Cucumbers, Pickles and People

Roses and pickles“When does a cucumber become a pickle?” asks a Louise Penny character trying to figure out when her happy boy turned into a surly teenager.

When did my heart strengthen?  Sometime between March and August of this year, my heart returned from an almost fatal level of heart failure to nearly normal functioning thanks to a specialized pacemaker, newly available medication and cardiac rehabilitation.

Awesome.  Amazing.  Fantastic.  I’m grateful.  This is my best hope come true.

Exactly when did my heart strengthen so much?  When had it weakened in the first place?  Like a cucumber becoming a pickle; each was a process I barely noticed, a change I couldn’t date.

At what moment is a runner ready for a marathon?  When do patterns become habits and habits a way of life?  At what point does a student become an artist or a character become rooted in honesty and integrity?  At what point does healing occur or relationships fray too much to be repaired?

No one can say when, during his years in prison camp, the late John McCain changed from a hard-partying naval brat into a man of courage and honor. It was a process.  No one can say exactly when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford became a strong enough survivor to tell her story of sexual assault to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee considering Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court.  It happened over years of hard work and healing.

We change our clothes in minutes.  On the other hand, internal change–physical, emotional, spiritual, and attitudinal–happens over time.

When does a cucumber become a pickle?  Cucumbers become bread and butter pickles in a week.  Dill pickles need six months.

For pickles and people, the finished flavor is a matter of time in the brine.  If we soak ourselves in distrust and disdain towards others, we become judgmental and sour people.  If we repeatedly respond with bitterness or entitlement, we cannot help but develop a nature of such attitudes.

But if we repeatedly behave kindly, we become people who instinctively respond with kindness.  If we act repeatedly with courage, honor and integrity we develop character imbued with these qualities.  If we intentionally pause each day to give thanks, we become gracious, grateful people.

The good news is that we can dump out our brine and start afresh.  Choose wisely and trust the process.

LOL: The Not-Failed Experiment

Last week, I published Wednesday Wisdom as an experiment.  I tried to include a quote from Alice Walker and a photo.  I seem to be the only person who received the imbedded photo. I hope the quotation and photo actually appear at the top of this post.  Just in case, the relevant quotation is:  “Much of the satisfying work of life begins as an experiment; having learned this, no experiment is ever quite a failure.”

In light of Walker’s wisdom, my experimental Wednesday Wisdom post did not quite fail.  True, it did not do what I hoped for. Some readers received garbled computer text, others received a box with a question mark or an X.  But it was not a total failure because it showed me that what I tried didn’t work, and it provided the impetus for me to keep learning and experimenting.  Yippee!  As Marshall McLuhan says, “The medium is the message.”

This post is another experiment.  I hope the image I created appears this time.  If it does, this will have been a BIG step for Barbara.

Please, please, send me a comment or email letting me know if your version of this blog post includes an image of the Walker quotation and a young girl at a piano.  As far as I can tell, it will, but then, I thought it would last time, too.  Thank you.

Look for another Wednesday Wisdom this week.  I will publish longer posts about every two weeks.

 

 

 

Wednesday Wisdom

Welcome to a new weekly feature on Changing Direction.  Each Wednesday will bring brief words of wisdom for living life well.  The emphasis is on brief.  Some posts will be serious, others funny.  Pass Wednesday Wisdom along to others and let me know which posts you like.  (P.S.  Wednesday Wisdom is an experiment–see below.)hands_on_keyboard_with-text-best-place[1]