Here I am, at the grand celebration of my 100th day of the “Live with Flair” blog, and the flair moment is. . . fire ants. I was secretly hoping for fanfare. Something big! Something extraordinary! Maybe I’d wake up to an elephant in my front yard or I’d find buried treasure.
But it’s fire ants. I suppose that’s rather true to the project: I want to find the extraordinary meaning in the common things. Well, here goes.
I’m walking in an area where fire ants bite us as we travel from the front porch to where our cars are parked. A fire ant bite can be extremely painful and, for those of us with allergies to bites and stings, potentially deadly.
A family member calls out: “Just keep movin’! They won’t get ya if you just keep movin’! It’s when you stop that those fire ants get into your shoes!”
It becomes a family joke whenever we leave the car. “Just keep movin!” we repeat, laughing but also running to the porch as fast as we can.
Something about that phrase made the flair bells ring. To avoid those ants, it’s absolutely critical that I don’t stay in one place. I have to move. I can’t be stagnant or else trouble comes.
If you look up the word “stagnant” you’ll find it means this: Lacking freshness, motion, flow, progress, or change; stale.
I want a life that moves. I want motion, flow, progress, and change. I want fresh.
As I age, I realize I have to create motion. I have to choose progress and flow. Maybe it means I read a new book or find a new friend. Or it means I learn a new skill. Or I learn a new dance.
Left to themselves, things do stagnate. Without thinking, I could stay right here, doing nothing. And in that place of stale, unwanted things invade and take over–like fire ants. Friendships, marriage, parent-child relationships, spiritual growth, my relationship to myself, my relationship to the natural world, my teaching, my writing–it can all stagnate unless I develop a plan for fresh flow.
Living with flair means creating fresh flow. It means running like crazy so the fire ants don’t get into my shoes. Whatever it takes, I want to avoid that sting of stale.