row row row your boat
gently down the stream
merrily merrily merrily merrily
life is but a dream
This is a math question: what do you notice about this children's song, written in 1853?
Strictly speaking, based on simple math, here is the answer: You get four merrily's for every three row's.
Which is to say, four rewards for every three efforts.
Now what are the implications of such a simple message, one we so effortlessly sing to our children? And is this something I might consider and use as a construct for my own efforts?
For example, this week:
Row #1: It's been a bear of a week (no offense, rob-bear). I've been sick, a stubborn virus that's had me miss work, miss my writing group, miss pilates, miss everything. Plus, I have not just this one but three unexpected medical problems. No long term worries, but I feel sick and I feel vulnerable.
Row #2: Money's tight. Tighter than it has been.
Row #3: I have an incredibly hard job. I hear and see things that cause me pain: the first hand effects of poverty and culuration and neglect and abuse that have happened to adults when they were children and children who are still children.
Three row's and four merrily's:
Merrily # 1: I'm sick but nothing's life threatening and I don't live in an oppressive country like Iran. Surely these are merrily's.
Merrily # 2: JB has cut back her work hours but in doing so she will be able to spend welcomed and deserved time in her studio. I welcome the challenge of making money stretch. We're still better off than so many, and tight doesn't mean scarce.
Merrily #3: My clients have serious circumstances but I have seen changes and successes and effort and growth. Slowly, sometimes in the smallest ways with the smallest steps, but I've had a part in this and it feels great. And what I have learned is irreplaceable.
An extra # 4 merrily! A free merrily for my efforts. Now what might that be? Well, for starts, I get to be a writer. I get to write a novel and this blog and silly poems and heartfelt stories. You don't worry so much about being bored or alone when you are a writer or a painter or a photographer or a jeweler because you have something to keep you company and to bring you to timeless passion. That's a definite 'merrily', my fourth and free one.
You get 4 merrily's for every three row's. Worth remembering? I think so.