I wanna think in the box

Author: natalie  //  Category: Baytown, Texas

As we near October, my inner child screams to come out and play. With last weekend’s cooler snap her demands were deafening. I did the only sensible thing: put sneakers on her feet and ran after her. She’d have driven me crazy otherwise.

We had a splendid time taking in the morning sights and sounds of such a beautiful day, but one snapshot in particular took the adult me way back.

Thinking “outside the box” has become modern-business cliché, and I’d wager most of us even find ourselves using such creative strategies to navigate even the most mundane details of our personal lives.

I don’t know about you, but I have to create sophisticated diversions to deal with distractions. How crazy is that?

Anyway, while sashaying through the neighborhood little Natalie—disguised in her grown-up body—came upon two little (4-5 years old) boys playing in/with an empty clothes-washing-machine box.  

Her attention was initially captured by a special belly-rolling laugh – the kind strictly produced by the tickling of somersaulting innards. What fun they were having.

With a man-I’d-sure-like-to-join-them gleam in her eyes, she watched as they took turns rolling each other over after carefully closing the box-flap lid and giggling out, “ready?”

Inevitably, the box contents would spill out in rather carefree but dramatic, wiggly, and comedic fashion.

A broad smile overtook my grown-up face just before little me forced an out-loud laugh. I was trying to remain unnoticed by the players, but that kind of laughter is contagious.

I was momentarily transported to a simpler time when a box was a fortress impenetrable by anything save for the desire to crawl out, travel for snacks and return with the magic markers that would bring some musings to life.

A rocket ship became a boat, which became a castle and then . . . the possibilities were endless, and so it seemed was time.

With a blank slate, yet closed in, novelty and utility came together in so many ways they couldn’t “outside the box”. And dare I say because I spent time inside I was more prepared for exploring the outside.

So many times simple, close, and right-in-front-our face trumps far-out and complicated.  Things are easier when you know a little versus knowing a lot. That whole paradox of choice –too many options leading to paralysis—comes into play. Not having much wiggle room is oddly liberating.

For all the time I now spend coming up with ways to navigate all that entails life, I’d like to spend some time thinking inside the box.

Please come and flip me over so that I may fall out all giggly with nary a care. Then you can climb in and I’ll return the favor. Ready?

2012 Natalie Whatley


2 Responses to “I wanna think in the box”

  1. Bert Marshall Says:

    “I have to create sophisticated diversions to deal with distractions” Exactly! I loved the whole column!

  2. admin Says:

    THANKS, Bert :)

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