Sunday, March 31, 2024


Last week we had a staff development day at the library where I work, and the presenter talked about how we could frame problems more positively. Say, for example, the problem is we have low morale at our workplace. Instead of focusing on the negative, we could try flipping it to:

We have high morale at our workplace. 

Some of us laughed under our breath. What, are we supposed to be gaslighting ourselves? But the point, the presenter said, is to reframe an issue from "a problem to be solved" into "the outcome we'd like to achieve." And then we can ask questions about how we can reach that outcome. What does a high-morale workplace look like? We can we do, individually, to make some of these things happen? 

I was immediately skeptical, and yet, at the same time, curious. And now I want to flip and reframe everything. My messy yard, the falling over dead flowers from last year, the dog poop piles, the broken tree branches, a Wendy's cup lid blown in from the Wendy's down the street, 


becomes a lovely yard, spruced up with spring blooms. My messy house, the remnants of our kitchen remodeling project taking over the dining room, the cans of paint, the power tools, 


turns into a shiny new kitchen with cleared off surfaces and fresh paint. The book I'm struggling to write is the book I joyfully and eagerly dive into each afternoon. The broken people in my life, my own brokenness-- 

flip us, reframe us--and we are made whole. 

How do we get here? What should we paint over and what must be cleared away? Which branches should we burn and where to toss the silly cup-lids? 

What can we do this moment to make the world, at least our small piece of it, beautiful?     

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