Wednesday, August 6, 2014

“Treasure Cats” and Other Truisms

When is a table more than a table?  Ah, a riddle!  The answer is, when its design bakes in your hopes and dreams. 

Back in 2011, my family and I were inspired to design such a table while shopping at Craft Works, a store in Martha’s Vineyard that sells handcrafted, custom-designed Sticks furniture and object art.  We already owned a Sticks mirror, framed in etched wood and with hand-drawn imagery illustrating the motivating words below including, “Think Big,” “Celebrate,” “Give,” “Seek Knowledge.” The mirror hangs at the foot of our staircase, and we see reflections of our selves and our beliefs every time we descend.  This table would be its companion, but this time, we would be choosing our own imagery and our own maxims.

“What a fun family activity!” I said to my 11-year-old daughter, 10-year-old son and 40-something husband, as we mulled over different themes and palettes. But when it came time to finding the right words, the adages that best expressed our own truths, the fun factor left and deep thought and conversation took over.  What sayings would encircle our table?  What were the words that fulfilled our belief system and the moral code that we wanted to share and impart to our children, and maybe even our children’s children? 

The kids had a lot of good input, although we had to gently nix a few like, “Drink Chocolate Milk,” “Treasure Cats,” and “Stay Cool!” (All worthy!). My funny husband’s contributions included “Love Meatballs,” and “Wrestle a Bear” (a metaphor or sorts).   Unfortunately, with space restrictions, we had to be choosy.

Along with “Laugh out Loud,” and “Sing and Dance,” one of my first contributions was “Speak Out.” Sound familiar? Whether at school, work, within our communities or at home, I truly believe that speaking with conviction, and being able to clearly articulate your ideas and beliefs is an important measure of a fulfilling life. 

It made the list. And now here I am today, three years later, writing to you about speaking out. Or, as true to my blog, “Saying it Like You Mean it!”  I am constantly reminded of its importance, and the challenges that surround getting our voices heard, with the confidence and verbal dexterity that compels others to listen.

So, back to our table (or, to the drawing board, so to speak)…Ultimately, we did come up with truisms that we all agreed upon.  The table sits in our den, a prized treasure.  And one day, this table might be a family heirloom, sitting in the home of one of our grandchildren.  

I hope it inspires thought and conversation.

Love family
Treasure friends
Seek knowledge
Speak out
See the world
Understand one another
Laugh out loud
Sing and dance 
Watch sunsets
Find peace
Know yourself
Be creative
Grow a garden
Be thankful
Spread joy
Live in the moment  
Be kind to animals
Follow your dreams

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