Monday, July 4, 2016

A Slice of "Impossible"

          I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community today. It's always a pleasure to read what everyone writes about their lives.

          After a five year voyage, the Juno space probe has just arrived, is now successful in going into orbit around Jupiter, our solar system's biggest planet. Amazing to ponder. Five years ago, a group of experts thought it possible that this "machine" would make the trip. They designed, using all the technical information at hand, and sent it off. 

       A site named The Heart of Innovation published 50 quotes on possibilities--FIFTY!  Some are shared below. Click on the site when you can to read other good quotes.

"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll
"The Wright brother flew right through the smoke screen of impossibility." - Charles Kettering
"In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd." - Miguel de Cervantes
"The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do." - Henry Moore
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         I've been thinking about this since I heard Juno was close, about those things we do in our "slices of life" that we may originally have thought as impossible. Yet, because we're curious, or motivated, even desperate, we DO. And, as a "now former" teacher and a grandmother, I wonder about messages sent about doing impossible things to students, my children and grandchildren. Have I done enough "showing" instead of "telling"?


        There have been things in my life in the past that I've done I thought were impossible, personal challenges that I didn't want to do at all, but I didn't get to choose to quit. I had to confront my fears and do them, because there was no one else to do them. These were mostly emotion-filled times, those that might keep anyone wanting to stay under the covers. 

         This time I am not writing about those things mentioned above, but actions that one could stop, walk away from. Sometimes they are physical. I rode horses as a youth, but began riding seriously in my forties, and thought I'd never "get it". My teacher even yelled at me that I wasn't trying hard enough. I didn't quit, kept trying, read all I could about horse and rider behavior and finally, I felt successful. I've rock climbed, with and without ropes, and hoped my students didn't see me shaking. I guess long ago I never would have thought I could do it, but the few times I have, that thrill of "impossible" called.

         Then there are the smaller things I think might make me quit. For example, I have a small push mower for my very small lawn, and figured out that I needed to take it in to be sharpened. I could not get the bolts off to take the handle off so it would fit in my car! I tried, went back in the house and did something else. I tried again, thinking "it's impossible". Finally, I brought out the toolbox, laid all the "possible" tools that I could use instead of the wrench I had been using. I found a larger pair of pliers, and did it!  

         There are other examples. One foremost is the act of submitting my writing and accepting rejections, but not stopping. This is a different kind of "doing the impossible", so I wonder if the submissions are doing the impossible, or is achievement only when I publish something? 

So, I'm asking about when you may have done an "impossible" thing, and perhaps mentored others by your actions. And I do realize that "impossible" means so, so many different things to each one of us. Perhaps the feat of sending a probe into space is a loose connection, or is it a real connection to the way we live? It's important to me to know about myself, and I wonder if you consider it too?
         

36 comments:

  1. Linda,
    I was toying around on Twitter last night when I realized the dreams that the team had about this spacecraft were going to be a reality. And here you are connecting it with your slice...so thrilling to think about making impossible become reality. I think all of this has to be an inner motivation and partly a drive to be successful as well as willingness to learn from mistakes.
    One impossibility I can personally think of is being told "you won't be able to have children of your own". And then, against all odds, it happens! Life is certainly full of amazing experiences-I'm glad you wondered about this topic today for your slice! What a wonderful world-and great inspiring quotes you shared!

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    1. The space probe has connections here in the Denver area, so we've been following it all these years, Amy. I began thinking about it yesterday and the word "impossible" applying to everyday life, how all of us keep trying when it is a daunting task, and on. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it, too.

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  2. Linda, I think this post is a very timely one. I was so excited to hear about the NASA travel around Jupiter, especially since is it one of those impossible tales. You brought up a good point about our impossibilities becoming possibilities with fortitude and perseverance. So much is being said about stamina in school but maybe if classrooms were more passion-filled the impossible would be found through perseverance.

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    1. Passion for something is part of the inspiration I agree, Carol. It's part of why my school supported each child choosing a topic for study individual to them. Yes, that Nasa Probe is exciting, and now I'm hoping to hear what it will tell us! Thanks!

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  3. Sometimes my attempts at the "impossible" seem tiny compared to all the awesome things I read that others are doing!!! It's humbling and inspiring at once. I am on page 181 of the novel I am attempting to write. Sometimes, the end seems as far away as Jupiter!

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    1. But that's what I mean about those individual "impossibles", Lori. Each of us in our own way are doing them, and they are inspirations, too. I love hearing about your novel-keep going!

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  4. As a song from the musical "Cinderella" says, "Impossible things are happening every day." For me, Impossible things include attending a summer writing institute and chairing a state conference. One is done and one will happen in October.

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    1. Oh, thanks for the quote, Bob. I didn't remember it. Good for you for doing such wonderful things. They do seem daunting to me!

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  5. What an inspiring post! I felt this way when I started my MLS degree; I was determined to show my family that I could pursue a dream AND juggle work and home. The outcome was worth it!

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    1. Thanks for "your" story, Chris. I am guessing that each of us have them, and wouldn't it be great to share? Congratulations on your degree!

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  6. Thank you for reminding us of the wonders others create by attempting the impossible, and encouraging us to keep that alive in our own lives. Great stories, especially for a grandmother- I hope your grandkids read this sometime! I especially love your lawnmower story, and how you tried laying out all the tools to stretch your thinking to help you solve the problem. Great parable. You post has invigorated me- thank you.
    PS- I think putting your writing out is a perfect example of this kind of dreaming and courage. It is sufficient onto itself, but I also hope you get published!

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    1. Thank you for the support, Fran. That lawnmower challenge was quite frustrating to me, but I do not give up easily, and taking it one more step seems to help always. I imagine we all have a story to tell that's related.

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  7. I love this post. Yes, I have lived long enough to be faced with several "impossible" things that I could not quit. But one of the sort you describe was something that I had to do to prove to myself that I could: a particular hike that was difficult for me--by myself. And I did it. Doing so gave me confidence in my life in general. Thank goodness for everyone who attempts impossible things, or we wouldn't have Juno, or so many other things that enrich our lives!

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    1. I agree that we should appreciate all those who take on the impossible, Jane. There are so many examples! Good for you for doing the hike. Alone in the mountains, outside, is a challenge for me. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Your post is so inspiring, Linda. I so enjoyed reading about the big and small! You are tough stuff!

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    1. Thanks, Loralee. I think I am tough at times because I had good models from my husband, parents and grandparents,s o I am grateful to them.

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  9. I am in awe of the wonders NASA produces. There are many who defy odds and do the seemingly impossible task. I appreciate the "gumption" that it takes to accomplish tough tasks. Thank goodness for Google these day to help one solve difficult problems.

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    1. Yes, Google & then YouTube has helped me solve a few, Elsie. I am excited about this Juno orbiting! Thanks!

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  10. The space program has always set the bar at impossible and I think as a nation helped us to be the "nothing is impossible" country.

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    1. Thanks, Bernadette, The U.S. has accomplished some amazing things for sure.

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  11. Challenges... How about adjusting to life without your love and seeing the other side. You've been helping me move through this journey. I don't think I could have done this without you. Sadly, the one person I know that would be celebrating tonight over Jupiter would have been Tuvia.
    Bonnie K.

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    1. I'm glad I have helped at least some, Bonnie. Each of us has our own story, I know, but knowing that there are others who do survive that hard, hard journey makes a difference. It did to me. Thank you, bet Tuvia would be excited about Juno! Arvie would too!

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  12. Honestly, I had decided that it was going to be impossible to be a good teacher and be a mom -- let alone a good mom -- but here I am, doing it for more than a year now! Love the quotes! :-)

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    1. And I love that you feel so good about it, Jennifer. I know it's a big challenge, and you did it! Thanks for coming by and sharing!

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  13. It is good to think about challenges met and take inspiration to meet the challenges that keep coming...I appreciate your lawn mower story, it rings true in my experience, needing to do small things I never really expected to do...and I never expected to be writing, connecting with so many different people in so many different places through writing...

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    1. Thanks for connecting to that lawn mower & those bolts! So funny, also surprising what challenges come we never imagined, and that includes writing, too!

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  14. What a thought provoking slice Linda! I have always believed for me how important it is to never give up on something I attempt to do. I may not have always succeeded but I sure gave it a h.... Of a fight! Again, awesome slice!

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    1. Thanks, Lynn, I'm glad to hear from so many about doing "their" impossibles, because that means again how connected we all are. Makes me happy!

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    2. I just had to tell you I'm actually going to Meow Wolf on Thursday! I've heard it is something to see, now I'm even more excited to go!

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    3. Sarah, my daughter, and a friend went for the weekend. She took the granddaughters, 7 & 5, & they loved it too. She said they stayed most of the morning, & then returned in the afternoon. The tickets are for all day. I need to get to Santa Fe. So happy you'll be going.

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  15. Linda,
    My impossible thing is still in the realm of the impossible. It's about making that connection that will allow me to write professionally in a bigger way to a larger audience than I've yet been able to do. I have been putting out feelers, but they're still out there and something concrete has yet to emerge. Still pushing forward because I agree that it's the "impossible" that propels us to do great things, big and small.

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    1. I wish you the best of luck, Elisa. Don't stop trying!

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    2. Thanks for the encouragement, Linda. I can't stop trying! Though I sometimes get discouraged I will keep on keeping on because this is an important goal for me. Have a great day!

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    3. Thank you, Elisa! We're all supporting each other, and that does help! Hope you have a great day, too!

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  16. I tend to shy away from the impossible, yet I can think of a few times when I tackled it - serving a mission in Hong Kong, graduate school, going back to teaching after 14 years at home. I think it might be time for me to tackle the impossible again? What will it be? Love your story of the push mower and all the "possible" tools! And you did it!

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    1. I understand about shying away. Mostly my reason is that I'm too busy with all the other things! Going to Hong Kong seems big to me! Let me know when you're ready for that "next" one.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!