BY CYNTHIA KIMBALL
“In order to have a joyous life we must think joyful thoughts.”—Louise Hay
“Here we go. Into the infinite possibilities of 2021.”
“You won’t make it into any colleges with those test scores.” Dad wasn’t happy with my first attempt at the SAT college entrance exam.
With that I was enrolled into Saturday School for SAT Prep. At the time it was hard to see, but I was fortunate to sit in class for five hours on six weekend mornings. I was learning vocabulary words and, more importantly, how to take a test. Spoiler alert; if you have absolutely no idea choose the answer “b.” Just having something to choose when lost gave me some confidence. That strategy worked for a while.
Years later I found myself in a weekend seminar. Our group of 20 was told to physically cross the room one at a time. We could walk, hop, skip or whatever we chose. But every time had to be different. As I approached the head of the line I was relieved that no one had taken my idea for a walking and waving routine.
I crossed just fine, but terror struck when we were told, “Okay, again…and again…and again.” Each time there was a collective groan from most of our group. I also realized that my performance had to be original from every previous crossing. What I couldn’t get over was that this was fun for some of the folks. Sure, they were creative.
I’ve never considered myself a creative person. Author Joel Osteen says to be aware of what follows “I am.” What follows “I am” is what we are inviting into our lives. I am exhausted. I am overwhelmed. I am enthusiastic. I am joyous. I am good at taking tests. I am creative. There are endless statements you can make.
There are infinite possibilities for how to cross a room and how to solve an issue. In fact, there are endless ways of doing and seeing things. When we look another way, what we see may not even need solving. When confronted with a challenge, could we consider it a fun adventure and an opportunity to be creative?
To take this a step further, author Louise Hay says, “In order to have a joyous life we must think joyful thoughts.” One of her teachers, Dr. Barker, said, “When there is a problem there is not something to do, there is something to know.”
As I get older, the idea of infinite possibility is where I try to focus. I’m not sure life ever presents us with just a, b, c, d and maybe e (all or none of the above) to choose from. There are endless solutions or things “to know” when faced with a problem. In fact, if you consider that maybe you are just crossing the room, could it be fun?
My son just built a “Lego half pipe” for Lego characters to ride snowboards. His character is an expert with one exception. At the bottom of the half pipe, my son built a rail that the rider kept getting stuck on. As I watched him play, I saw the Lego character start at the top of one side and, on his way to the other, he jumped right off of his board and over the rail, expertly landing back on the board to complete the ride. No problem. Easy peasy. Anything is possible.
The Saturday School worked. I made it into a good college. In fact, it was my first choice. Which, looking back, finding a school that was “free and far away” was very creative. Exactly what that 17-year-old wanted.
Preparation for multiple choice tests also helped. And after that I eventually made my way out of the world of multiple choice options. In fact, many years later I remember a professor asking me, “Please tell me what you think about what the author said in chapter four…Captain Kimball.” There was that familiar terror. I hoped that I had read the chapter, understood it and could come up with my own thoughts.
There was no “b” to choose. But I had read and understood the chapter. This time I didn’t need multiple choices. I had a creative opinion and understood there was no wrong answer in this world of infinite possibilities.
If you have no idea, definitely choose “b,” but why not come up with your own fun, creative, adventurous, joyful answer? If you do you will not be wrong. Everyone can be creative.
Here we go. Into the infinite possibilities of 2021.
Originally published in our local paper “Your Mountain Connection” January 2021 and can be found in their pdf.
For inspiration on travel, see my blog on Captivating Sites Of Ancient Scotland.