Monday, October 19, 2009

Maybe Not All It's Cracked Up To Be...


1.fastened, attached, or placed so as to be firm and not readily movable; firmly implanted; stationary; rigid.
2.rendered stable or permanent, as color.
3.set or intent upon something; steadily directed: a fixed stare.
4.definitely and permanently placed: a fixed buoy; a fixed line of defense.
5.not fluctuating or varying; definite: a fixed purpose.
6.supplied with or having enough of something necessary or wanted, as money.
7.coming each year on the same calendar date: Christmas is a fixed holiday, but Easter is not.
8.put in order.

I am a fixer. The middle child. A peacemaker, the one who does her best to anticipate difficulties and prevent them before they come to fruition.

For the vast majority (if not the entirety) of my life, I have taken great pride in my ability to fix what is broken, right what is wrong, correct instability. You might say it has become an obsession. You might be right.

Inherent in this world view, unfortunately, is the notion that what is not perfect is broken and must be fixed, myself included. Fortunately for those imperfect human beings around me, perfection really only requires "better than me." As I look around me I cannot help but compare myself to others - the gorgeous 20-something newlyweds strolling by the pool, devoid of stretchmarks and cellulite, walking with an ease I can only aspire to. I try to measure up to my co-workers whose humor comes quickly and easily and who, I'm certain, are more devoted to and competent at their jobs than I.

Most often, these comparisons are an exaggeration and are hastily dispatched once I enter dialogue with others, realizing that nobody's life is free of worry or challenge. Generally, I am able to pop these silly thought bubbles with a gentle push and a hearty, "Ha!"

Delving deeper into the definition of the word "fixed," I am taken aback by the idea that it is anything to revere. Am I really hoping to render things stagnant? Cement them in place so that they no longer show any cracks or strain of wear? Is it that I am determined to fight change at all cost?

Nothing is static. The nature of energy and mass, indeed, our entire universe is toward change. Instead of visualizing myself as a boulder in a stream, impervious to all but the strongest outside forces, I ought to see that I am a grain of sand on the beach - ever moving and shifting in relationship to the other grains around me. In the morning I may be part of a tremendous sand castle, standing proud and strong in the sunlight, but as the tide changes and the waves push that castle down, it is not faulty or wrong to become once again a grain of sand lying on the beach. It just is part of the nature of being but one individual in this vast, connected universe. Wherever I am in one particular moment is not shameful or incorrect. I am not "broken" and in need of fixing. I simply am.

*definition courtesy of


deb said...

Took me a long time to understand and believe that I am not broken.

Hope you had a lovely holiday.

Deb Shucka said...

This is a great reflection. For me the challenge has always been to release the safety of being fixed in place, and to relax into being that grain of sand flowing with the tides. I love the "simply am" that you are.

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