I have sons that I swear are part engineer. From a very young age they were curious about how things worked. At age two, Jonathan accompanied me to the mailbox and we stopped to say hello to the next door neighbor.
Suddenly the neighbor grabbed my shoulder and stopped talking. “This has been nice and all but could your son please put together my light fixtures?”
Jonathan had completely disassembled them. He quietly put them back together and smiled. Now he knew that was wrong to do.
When about the same age, my second son was next to me at Home Depot in the check out line. There was a sale on flashlights going on.
I looked down as he said, “Look, Mommy, what I did!” He’d also taken apart about 10 flashlights. All the way apart, little bits on the floor.
I asked him to reassemble them and thankfully we left without having to purchase the department.
That curious itch we get when we want to know, “Why?” is so prevalent, isn’t it?
Another funny thing as parents is we’re always asking the kids to stop pushing buttons. Perhaps you can relate.
But I enjoy taking them where buttons are allowed. I love being someplace where “no” isn’t the most popular word. At The Tech Museum in San Jose recently I was reminded about simple delights. I even got in a space suit and pushed my jet pack around a starry sky, and had fun watching the Mars Rover mockup. It made me smile deep inside as the kids explored and I watched their joy bubble to the surface while pressing lots of buttons.
So I have to ask, what buttons bring you joy? What buttons do you need to press more often? How can you reconnect with whimsy and joy to give you the energy and insight for the struggles in life?
Whether it’s a walk on the beach, a day at a museum regressing a bit in age, or quieting your heart so you can see the small patterns of grace again, I encourage you to find that button once more.
I’m reminded of Winston Churchill, who held issues that affected world powers in his mind by day, and painted in the off hours to relax. Or other leaders who intentionally engage in something beautiful when chaos and darkness surrounds them.
Maybe you’re doing well but others in your life are in a dark phase. It’s so easy to get sucked into their swirling vortex of difficulty and be unable to surface yourself.
But that truism is still functioning, full-throttle. You can’t give fully to others without filling up your own resources, at least a bit, first. Sometimes we need permission to settle into a path of restoration. But true resilience comes from that place where the deepest wells are filled, that can be found in affirming moments.
So go find your button.
Since I mentioned the space exhibit, I had to point out the neat heart formation on the recent pictures of Pluto. Looks like a divine heart button, to me!
Pluto photo courtesy of mikemjensen.com