Monday, January 17, 2011

The What If Game


When I was growing up one of my mom's best friends used to come over for lunch every second week on her day off. Aunt Elaine (which is what I called her even though she was not my real Aunt) worked in an office. I found that rather enamoring as a young girl who grew up in a neighborhood where most of the mom's stayed home or had a part time job at best.

Aunt Elaine wore skirts with nylons and seams that ran up the back while Mom preferred slacks. They shared secrets and a sweet tooth. I was always happy when she showed up because it generally meant good dessert. If I was really lucky Mom would bake a lemon meringue pie. They would sit in our tiny kitchen at the yellow and white Formica table, laughing and talking and drinking coffee until their throats hurt. And every so often they would do something else. They would rearrange the furniture.

Now keep in mind that we didn't live in a very big apartment so you would think there had to be just so many permutations of moving things around they could come up with. But they always seemed to come up with a new one.

I doubt either of them realized there was something energetically positive about shaking things up. As far as I knew no one in their circle knew about Feng Shui and if they did never discussed it. It was just in their nature to notice when things might be getting a  little stale and it was time to play what if. They would both stand in the middle of the room with their arms folded and begin the what if game? What if they moved this chair here and that lamp there? What would that look like?

My father, much more of a creature of habit than Mom would come home, roll his eyes, light a cigarette and announce that he guessed Elaine had come for a visit. I would savor a piece of homemade crust and notice something was different and it was more than just where the ottoman was now.  Even in the dead of winter it was as though a fresh spring breeze had just blown through the apartment. The promise of what if  and what that might look like  lingered in the air long after the last piece of pie had been devoured.


Do you play the what if game?
What if you moved this piece of furniture around?
What if you changed this one thing in your life?
What does it look like for you?
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