Fitting a square peg in a round hole

As I was sifting through my word files on my computer tonight, I found this old journal entry that still resonates with me today so I thought I would share it.


Today we had a bit of snow in our neighborhood so we spent the day at home in our pajamas, with the exception of a trip my husband took to the vet with our new cat which we barely made because she did not want to get into her carrier. We spent some time cleaning up, the kids played in the snow, I made hot cocoa for them, and we played charades.  Overall, it was a fun day.

It always surprises me how one small thing that happened in the day can continue to spin through my head, my mind trying to figure out what it is exactly that I need to learn from this lesson.

Today, this moment happened while I put together a bean bag tic tac toe game for the kids. I put it all together but it just didn’t seem to want to fit properly. I pushed and pushed but I didn’t understand why it didn’t quite fit right until I looked at the directions again.  Then I realized that I was supposed to match the three plastic pieces I was trying to fit by the small shape printed on the end. The one with a circle on the end was supposed to go in the middle where the other circle was. The left half circle was supposed to be matched with its part and the right half circle with its part.

So even though it was basically put together and probably would have functioned okay, it definitely wouldn’t be as sturdy as it should be so I decided to take it apart. And it was hard to get apart because I’d really pushed those pieces into places where they weren’t supposed to fit.  But I finally got it apart and reassembled it and it looks much better now.

It got me thinking about how often we try to put things, people, and especially ourselves into places where they weren’t meant to fit.

And by doing so, we might be able to get the job done but it’s definitely not ideal. I see that something needs to be done so I push myself to do it without thinking about whether it’s really what I was designed to do. And then, I become stuck – unable to get out of obligations that I shouldn’t have committed to in the first place. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it is that I am designed to do.

At a visit last year to the UConn Coop, I purchased a book called “The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow You Passion.” It called to me – the idea of finding what I MUST do. And I still haven’t quite figured it out and quite frankly, probably never will. But in the midst of thinking about my SHOULDS and MUSTS, I’m realizing how often I do what I think I should instead of what I must. I get caught in other’s expectations of who I’m supposed to be – or maybe more accurately – what I think their expectations are. It’s something I’m still working through – probably always will be, but I hope that I can learn to stop pushing myself and others into places where they don’t fit.

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