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The Invisi-Fence (R) of Ugly

Have you ever noticed how a change of scenery can drastically change your mood?

I first discovered this when my children were really young. I would repeatedly make the mistake of staying home for long periods of time under the expectation that I would accomplish a lot of tasks on my to-do list. By the fourth hour, though, we often imploded into a rubble of whining, fighting and bickering.

The minute I surrendered and exited the house -- as if our very lives depended on an escape from the toxic fumes within -- we somehow re-set ourselves like a switch. Now, I understand why I changed my attitude when venturing out in public. I obviously didn't want to be seen by my neighbors as the resident shrew that I was. But how exactly did my then two and four-year old know to shape up for public viewing? The answer is that they did not. They simply needed to get the heck out of dodge and saddle up their imaginary horses to some new posts.

Though my daughters are now 11 and 13, the same holds true today. We can be bickering and boorish inside our home, but the minute we break through the InvisiFence of ugly that sometimes surrounds our property, Bam!, we are back to being the poster children for civilized behavior. And it really isn't an act-- we actually feel better and it shows.

My most recent discovery is that this works just as well when there is no one to argue with but the negative ideas floating in my own head. Whether I am feeling scared or saddened by current events or fearful of finances, I find that -- rather than wallowing in the bleakness of it all -- a step outside of my own space does wonders. No, it doesn't solve the problems in my life, but it does help me cope with them.

I find that a quiet walk is a great temporary fix, but the most long-lasting benefits come from stepping outside the fence line of my own woes and helping someone else ease theirs.

Comments
8 Comment count
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Shana, your blog entry surely was motivational. I looked thru two dictionaries in vain searching for INVISIFENCE. Initially  (and finally) I decided you must mean "in defense."  If not, what does it mean?

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InvisiFence...

is actually a product name that is also known as Invisible Fence. You use it to keep pets from straying... or in my case, bad moods from escaping. :)

Shana McLean Moore www.caffeinatedponderings.com www.sunnysidecommunications.com

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Optimism - spelt with a gleaming, transparent 'O'

Life on this planet seems to require a raft of coping strategies for 'getting by', both philosophical and practical. By learning to employ them skillfully we can win through to a better quality of life. The ideal state we envisage just doesn't exist. If it does, it won't be for long! (Remember your Heraclitus? All things are in a state of flux?)The tools our experiences supply along the way are way more important than the hand fate deals every morning.

It sounds as though you're doing a terrific job as a parent if your children know how to behave beyond the 'invisifence'. (They're clearly taking their cue from you whether they know it or not!) The current practice seems to be to take problems out into the street and workplace and visit them on everybody else. It's 'bad form' for a good reason: it's contributing to the dark and negative karma of the world. And it gives no one a break.

What's ironic is that the people with the most devastating problems do keep things to themselves. Whereas we might hope for a little understanding now and then, we shouldn't require others to make concessions for us.

Congratulations, by the way, on coining a word that could be applied in a variety of contexts.

Invisifence. I like it!

 

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So much wisdom

within you, Miss Rosy.

I see another calling for you-- an advice columnist for the literate.

Shana McLean Moore www.caffeinatedponderings.com www.sunnysidecommunications.com

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JIt's that shift out of

JIt's that shift out of place and space that does work.  It's amazing what a walk, car ride, or even workout will do!  I remember taking many, many rain walks with my kids when they were growing up because if we all didn't get outside, we'd go insane!

Nicely put here, and a fun metaphor!

Best,

J

essica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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thanks

It's funny-- my mom always thought I was crazy to keep the kids in such constant motion, but it was exactly what you said: insanity prevention. You either exhaust your mind or body in the early years with kids-- I consciously chose body... and ended up surrendering mind along the way.

Shana

Shana McLean Moore www.caffeinatedponderings.com www.sunnysidecommunications.com

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Running away from (and then, after a break, back to) it all ...

This is why I run, and always in gorgeous areas like Fisherman's Wharf, Land's End, Dolores Park ... any place where I can see nature and people interact in healthy ways.

I've sustained three running injuries this year, which has kept me out for months at a time, but each time, I've rested and then returned to the sport, because no other makes me as happy. For me, the "getting away" aspect is essential to the fitness regime.

Katie Burke

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Ahhh... I am envious, Katie

I miss running. That endorphin release was like no other... that can be discussed in polite company. :)

I had back surgery 4 years ago and have had to trade my running shoes for walking ones to prevent further damage. Your description makes me miss that exhilarating lung burn. Though the streets of San Francisco would have humbled this then-jogger, the cool climate and extraordinary views would be amazing. Have a run for me, will you?

Though my walks can't do half the job for my thighs, lungs and endorphins, they do make their own substantive contribution to refocusing my thoughts.

Off to enjoy a brisk walk now!

Shana

Shana McLean Moore www.caffeinatedponderings.com www.sunnysidecommunications.com