Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Lesson of the Rubber Band

Last year, there was an entire week where I wore a single rubber band around my wrist. Nothing flashy, nothing colorful. A plain, flesh-colored, dirty rubber band.

That week, I had walked into work to find two books waiting for me on the back table that had just arrived from Inter-Library Loan. One was an audiobook, one a new release, and I had been waiting for weeks with bated breath for both to arrive. And there they were- waiting for me, arriving on the same day and banded together like a beautiful Christmas present in the middle of a soggy February. I took off the rubber band encircling the books and slipped it on my wrist, no doubt because I planned on depositing it in the nearest drawer. Yet I wore it for the rest of the night, and then into the following week. At first, it wasn't deliberate- but every time I started to take it off, I remembered the inexplicable joy and tingling excitement of seeing those books and knowing they were finally mine to explore. I never wanted to lose that feeling. So I kept it on.

I thought about that today because for some reason or other, I wound up with another rubber band on my wrist. This time it was just because I needed a place to put it, but when I glanced at it tonight, I remembered that moment a year ago and smiled. I needed a reason to smile. And a thought flashed into my mind like a snapshot- no matter what happens in our lives or what difficulties we face, there is always a reason to anticipate the future and relish in the opportunities we have stretching out before us.

Like opening a brand-new book. Enjoying a mug of tea. Taking a walk in the fresh air. Strolling through aisles at the bookstore. Buying a new outfit. Waking up to the smell of fresh-baked bread. Cuddling your niece. Making a home-cooked meal. Packing for a trip. Or celebrating the life of someone you miss.

There is so much around us. We just have to notice it, anticipate it.... and celebrate it. Even if you do so by wearing a plain rubber band.

Me and my Opa


  1. Replies
    1. You're such a beautiful writer! I remember that day, we were in Winnetka! I'm sure you had a million questions for your Opa about Lake Michigan and he so patiently, like always, took time to answer and explain things to a very curious little girl.
      Love you!!

  2. Sara Goetz-GordonMarch 2, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    I don't know if it is my homesickness, knowing why you needed a smile or something else entirely, but I teared up reading this blog post. I also understand exactly what you mean by a little thing meaning so much and later bringing back a memory of a moment. Love ya hun!


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