Bouncing Through Life

I was introduced to the hundred-acre wood and the characters that lived there when I was a little girl. The books that familiarized me with this lot where old, small, hard back, textured fabric covered, poetry type books with pencil drawings throughout and a crude map sketch of the hundred-acre wood on the inside cover. I turned the pages of these aged books over and over as a girl. The stories within struck my imagination and tossed me into a land of simple fun and uncomplicated adventure; where friends got themselves into unsophisticated trouble and worked together diligently to get themselves out. The main character in these books was a honey loving, naïve, slow-witted, friendly stuffed bear that was always willing to help his friends and always tried his best. His name was Winnie-the-Pooh.

Pooh’s friends included; compassionate, pleasant cheerful, and wise Christopher Robin; small, gentle, shy, fearful Piglet; glum, sensible, slow-talking, pessimistic, Eeyore; kind-hearted, patient, calm, docile Kanga (mama to Roo); cheerful, energetic, playful, Roo (child to Kanga); bossy, irritable, smart, obsessive Rabbit; intelligent, long-winded, literate, opinionated Owl, and my favorite character, exuberant, trouble-making, less-than-responsible, very fun Tigger. Oh how I loved the adventures surrounding Pooh, the bees, and his friends.

Tigger

Recently, a friend sent me a Tigger quote. She had no idea Tigger is my favorite character from the hundred acre wood. Tigger has always been my favorite because he exemplifies who I privately wish I was. He typically enters the scene abandoned of all fear, full of energy, and completely over confident in his abilities, often doing more harm than good, and undaunted by the task. Exactly the way I think a true risk taker should be and the type of risk taker I have never been. In reality, I have always been a cross between Rabbit and Kanga (a bit of a split personality really) depending on the circumstance. The Tigger quote, I was sent, reads like this: “Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb but how well you bounce.”

I smile each time I read this. I can hear Tigger’s signature, “Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoo” following this wise observation. Recently I’ve been learning all about bouncing. My default mode however, has been to run and climb through life, more than bounce. After all that is what gets you ahead right? The harder you work (run and climb) the more you have. I am not insinuating that hard work or running and climbing through life is bad or wrong or that having things is damaging, I have plenty. I’m just more in touch than I’ve ever been with the underlying flaws in the excess of that philosophy. I am finding that being flexible enough to bounce is currently serving me better than the rigidity involved in running and climbing.

Bouncing is elastic. It allows me to be okay with not having the answers all the time and to be unsure of the future. It gives me permission to adapt to change and continue to enjoy the process anyway. It teaches me to acquiesce and allow things to happen naturally without the help of my intervention. There is a time and a place for running and climbing; it’s just not all the time, relentlessly pushing ahead with unyielding pursuit. I’m learning it’s okay to bounce, to be flexible and to make time for fun.

I guess you could say I’m finding my Tigger within as I become less fearful and more confident. Tigger makes me smile and gives me permission to bounce. It’s fun! Try it. I encourage you to do something today that put’s a bounce back in your step.

Karen

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