Monday, 5 November 2012

Woodpecker or the Finch

Over my lifetime, I am very aware that I have a very strong and healthy stubborn streak which is also known as a will of steel.  It may even be interpreted as a thick or dense head.  It has been very helpful and healthy to have this trait when I've been faced with traumatic situations and, most recently, my bout with lymphoma and the subsequent chemotherapy.

I was reading the entry in "The Friendship Book 2012" this morning and it was very appropriate.  It talked about a woodpecker and a finch.  The woodpecker was sitting on a bird feeder which was a long plastic tube with the wooden perches under each hole which gave the birds access to the bird seed.  The woodpecker decided to repeatedly peck the plastic tube in an effort to reach the seed behind the plastic.  A finch arrived and showed the woodpecker the easy way to get his food.  This story really spoke to me as I identified with the the woodpecker.  I often want to make changes in how I react in certain situations, but I revert back to the "banging my head against the problem" sort of response.  I don't know if this the stubborn streak or a thick head.  Maybe it's both.  I know if you spoke to my family, it would definitely be a topic for discussion.  When I take time to think logically I can see that my habitual and ingrained response is not working but when I am emotionally charged and emotionally invested in the moment, I revert back to the old responses.

I think we are all like this in some way or another.  I think we, as human beings, are always striving to improve ourselves and how we live and react in the world.  I don't want to totally throw away my strong will and stubborn streak because it proved to be an asset when I've been ill and going through some rough recovery times in my life.  This trait also allows me to be an individual and not a follower of our materialistic society.  However, I do need to learn to take a step back when I get emotional and try to think logically before "banging my head against the problem".  I can recognize this but it is something completely different to put it into practice.

I spent my weekend visiting with extended family again and it was absolutely refreshing to spend the weekend full of laughter and joy.  It has renewed my desire to make changes and not accept the status quo.  Unfortunately, I seem to not know how to make changes without confrontation.  I think my frustration comes from having told myself while I was sick that change had to take place.  I saw change taking place while I was too ill to assist in the home chores.  I assumed that the changes I saw were permanent and much to my chagrin, I am back to where I was before I was diagnosed.  This past weekend was like a clearing in the middle of a dark forest where the sun is shining brightly on an open space.  I want to capture that warm, healthy sunshine and bring it into my own home. 

I want the smiles and the laughter that I saw on my own family's faces over the weekend.  I want the spirit of cooperation that was apparent while we were away to continue.  Life is all about making improvements and I plan to try to become a little more like the finch than the woodpecker.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post, Cathy. And I must say that I laughed heartily at the 'thick or dense head' part because I can be very much like that at times. I think we all can. It's difficult to change old habits, but sometimes situations call for it. Being the finch rather than the woodpecker takes more work and patience, and sometimes we don't want to put the effort into that; we simply want results RIGHT NOW. What I've learned over the years is that the instant results aren't always the best ones, so stepping back, taking a deep breath, perhaps walking away for awhile, can bring about a better outcome. But it's not always easy to do this. We are emotional creatures, after all, and tend to get caught up in the moment. All we can do it continue to try our best, and constantly work on improving ourselves.