Walking on Ice

Many times in life we realize an old rule no longer works. We find ourselves going about the same actions because it’s familiar but our circumstances have changed. What’s that saying, Insanity is doing the same thing the same way but expecting different results?

Walking on thin ice.

I’m from the lower plain states. Every winter it freezes, just a bit. Not enough to freeze anything deep, especially not deep enough to walk on. Our rule is not to walk on the ice. Any story I’ve heard growing up that had ice and people in it, was a cautioning tale. Like the time my dad’s hunting dog drowned under a thin sheet of ice. It happened so quickly the dog was gone before anyone could save him. I listen with dread when I hear of people’s stories of trying to challenge nature every winter on one of the nearby lakes. Usually it’s some high school guy trying to prove something to his friends.

As children we have rules to keep us safe. As an adult now those rule need to change. It’s okay for you to walk across the street alone. No one needs to hold your hand. We know this and we adapt.

Recheck your rules.

  • Old rule: Don’t walk on the ice. Why? It will break
  • New rule: You can walk on the ice if it’s frozen deeply enough.

It’s difficult to adapt to new rules of living but it’s possible. At first thought there’s no way I’d walk on the ice. Old conditioning says it’s dangerous. But in frigid climates, they land planes on the ice. Polar bears walk across the ice.

Know your climate. Learn the rules that apply to your current life.

My difficulty is knowing what’s an old rule that can be disregarded and what’s an old rule that still works. Healthy eating is one. 4 square meals? Dessert? No pop?

One of my “no longer applies” is really just a useless fantasy. The fantasy of needing to be chosen. Of walking into a room or down the street and a modelling scout grabs you and must have you to model for their latest project. Or the boy who discovers that his quirks and shortcomings are actual strengths to help him on his quest of saving the village. We’ve read these books and watched the movies. It a common theme. The being chosen part isn’t so terrible if we realize it’s just fantasy most of the time.

When we are young, we do a lot of waiting. We wait for buses, teachers, lunch, water fountains, and bathroom privileges. At the time we didn’t control our own lives. Now, our adult lives are full of choices and initiative. More commonly we apply for jobs, walk into the office and hunt down the person in charge. We go from passive verbs to active verbs. There are no real map tattoos that suddenly appear on our bodies or diaries from our deceased aunt explaining our heritage. The difficulties of our lives are as simple as this question, Do you want to sit and wait to be picked or do you want to get up and dance?

  • Old rule: Wait to be discovered and wow the world.
  • New rule: Take a chance. Write the book. Grab the microphone and sing. Dance your heart out.


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