how about this book?

Here is a regular conversation I have with a little boy in my class whenever we go to the school library to check out books:

me: Hey X, everyone else has checked a book out and now you need to find one and take it to the librarian, ok?

X: I can't find any books.

me: Well, how about this one? It looks like a good one.

X: Nope. That's not it.

me: Here's one about helicopters. It looks pretty interesting.

X: No. That's not it either.

me: X, you will need to hurry or I am going to have to pick a book for you. Now, there are a lot of good books here to choose from. Please choose. Your friends are all lined up and ready to go back to our classroom.

X: I just can't find it. Here it is!

The thing that is so interesting about the exchange with this bright little boy is the reference to "it". I always wonder if he has some sort of image in his head of what his book is supposed to look like. The "it" changes each week though, because he doesn't check the same book out on a repeated basis.

It makes me ask myself the question about what my "it" is. What do I have preconceived ideas about in my life that inhibit me from being satisfied? Generally I don't over think things. I am actually pretty good at being just spontaneous enough to have fun and to enjoy the little unexpected things in life. But I know there have been "its". There have been times when I think I will just know when something is right. And I have discovered that most of the time my "it" is a fluid kind of concept. What works for me one day might not jump out at me the next.

So one of my aspirations is to look at the library book someone suggests for me, and to say, "Ok. I am going to allow myself to believe THAT might be my "it" today!"


Heidi | January 9, 2009 at 7:31 PM

I am the same way. It makes it hard to feel satisfied with "whatever" sometimes because it just isn't "it". If I could tell you what "it" is/was, things would be so much easier. But I do know "it" when I see it. Being that way make the hunt fun--maybe it's fun for that little boy too. I love that you do what you do.

Candy Eash | January 9, 2009 at 8:05 PM
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Candy Eash | January 9, 2009 at 8:15 PM

Thanks for sharing. This must have been the story you referenced yesterday. I love how kids make us look at life a little more clearly.

April | January 9, 2009 at 10:01 PM

Great blog! I need to be more spontaneous in my ways!!! I tend to stick to the same thing...over...and over....and over.....I am NOT a risk taker!

Little GrumpyAngel | January 9, 2009 at 10:54 PM

You are so insightful...

I definitely have "its" in my life, but fortunately not too many. My husband and close friends think I am always open to trying new things and looking at them and appreciating them from different angles. I guess, one of the few good things about me out of a sea of "bad" things :-)

LisAway | January 10, 2009 at 12:06 AM

Interesting (as always). I was thinking, " I think I sort of just go with the flow and don't want things a certain way too often." But I realize that that's true in big things, but there are far too many small things that I feel disappointed if they don't go the way I imagined. And I get grouchy. Thanks for the reminder that things don't always have to go my way. The book someone else hands me may be better than the one I was looking for, If I'll give it a chance!

Rachel Cotterill | January 10, 2009 at 7:39 AM

Wow, how long is it going to take him to find Miss Right when he grows up?! "That's not her, that's not her - ohhh, there she is."

Personally my 'big thing' is with newness and change... so any book is OK as long as it's a different one to last time!

Luann | January 10, 2009 at 8:49 AM

I love your story. It's an excellent illustration of the concept. Sometimes I have to get to "it" before I am satisfied, but not always. "It" is most commonly a rigid goal or standard I set for myself and not necessarily a tangible thing. I think I am usually more flexible with tangibles.

charrette | January 10, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Love that intangible, ever-elusive "it" least he occasionally finds it. Some of us are never satisfied.

Joy Hollingshaus | January 10, 2009 at 10:40 AM

Hi Karen: Really interesting post. Where do you teach?

Heather of the EO | January 10, 2009 at 7:35 PM

I love what you've said here. I am an "it" kind of girl with the BIG things in life, not so much with the small. Sometimes that's trouble. I've always loved the idea of making a choice and then realizing that making the choice is the thing that made it, "it." Now I just need to really BELIEVE that :)