Be Curious Like George
Today’s Words of Wisdom:
-Mantra on my tea sachet
The Foda’s Take: Years ago, I had a professor who answered every student’s question with “Hmm, that’s interesting, I’d like you to ‘stay curious’ about that.” Which, in point of fact, was a bit infuriating, seeing as that didn’t actually answer the question! But what I now realize is that what she really meant by “stay curious” was stay open. After all, the saying is that “curiosity killed the cat”… and you are smarter than a cat, aren’t you? So I think you’re safe.
Welcome back friends! I’ve been thinking a lot about curiosity lately, so I almost choked when I went to take a sip of my ginger tea today and saw the mantra be curious scrawled across the sachet tab. (Ironically, yesterday’s mantra was be well. To which I narrowed my eyes and said- out loud, mind you- I’M TRYING!!!)
So why is it so important to be curious?
This led me to several moments of deep conversation with my house guest, Professor Momgonagall. And our consensus was that by remaining curious, you give yourself time to really look and observe what is in front of you instead of snapping to quick judgements. Which, let’s be honest, is what we do most of the time. That girl in all black with kohl-rimmed eyes? Goth. That boy with the glasses and quiet disposition? Nerd. Spilling coffee all over your new suede jacket? That’s karma, cow-killer! Uh, I mean… sad…. so sad… for you…. hee? Hee hee? Hey! Get out of my closet, you, there’s NOTHING TO SEE HERE!!! Oh. You saw those leather boots, huh. Gulp. Yeah, that happened. <Sheepish look. Baaaaad girl. Pun intended.> But I digress.
For me, the act of practicing curiosity when you’re dealing with a chronic illness like Lyme Disease means keeping your mind open to the possibilities, instead of slamming a door every time you flare up and go from how-could-it-possibly-get-worse to I-didn’t-mean-that-as-a-challenge, universe! TRUTH. After all, when your life is already so tenuous, if you’re not curious about how each moment will turn out… how will your mind ever stay open long enough to find the bright spots amidst the proverbial trenches of the Death Star?
I wrote recently about what it meant to be a warrior while combating a long-term illness, and how important it is to redefine what that archetype means to become more malleable, more flowing, and now, more curious. Try it next time that special person gets on your last nerve. Instead of throwing your house slipper at them or switching the sugar for salt in their morning coffee, try thinking… Huh. That’s interesting. I wonder why he/she just did/said that? I’m finding that when I make a point to be curious, there’s less miscommunication, less anxiety, and less woe-is-me-my-life-is-oveeerrrrrr!!!!!!
It’s no miracle cure, but it really helps on those days you’re feeling especially low to think- huh. What could this be? How could I help? What could I do? And if the answer is stop trying to wash the dishes and lie down and watch a movie, crazy lady! Then that’s what you do. If it’s immerse yourself in something rejuvenating you love, you do that.The past two days have been a little tough for me, but I’ve really focused on staying curious when my migrating symptoms roll through, and it’s helped me not spin into the Quagmire of Anxiety like I used to. (Always a wild ride, this condition! In the words of Forrest Gump: Lyme’s like a box-a-choc’lates. You nevuh know what you’re gunna get. Oh, that’s not right? Hmm. A thousand pardons, oh great one.)
So in closing, I ask you- what would your life look like if you were more curious?
Curiously? Yours? Forever?
P.s. As I finish this I realize I’m very hungry… I’m now curious if my husband will make me dinner? If I ask? Very nicely? OH. So-rry. Didn’t know you were on a conference call.
P.p.s. Kitten? How ‘bout you? No, I can’t eat your toy. It is shaped like a dog, but we don’t eat dogs in this country. Especially if they’re made out of felt.
P.p.p.s. I’m now curious if it’s possible to learn how to use the Force in the next five minutes so I can make dinner from the couch… Yes? Yes? Sigh. NO.