Slinky on an Escalator


How can anyone watch a Slinky and not automatically feel young again?  Whenever I give one of these helical springs as gifts (yes, to adults!) inevitably they light up and go into planning mode for the Slinky's first fall.  It is impossible not to!

Amusingly enough, it was practically developed by accident.  A naval mechanical engineer in the 1940's, accidentally knocked a spring from a shelf and watched it step (or slink!) down a series of books to a table, eventually making its way to the floor where it re-coiled itself and stood ready to go again.  The engineer instantly knew he has the next 'must have toy' right in front of him.    

What I like the most about the Slinky is they are meant to go on multiple journeys and never back down from a challenge.  Lets be honest, using them on stairs is child's play!  What usually happens when someone gets their hands on a Slinky is that they are all of a sudden transformed into an evil super-villain who works tirelessly to devise routes that would stump the dear beloved Slinky.  I don't know about you, but no matter how many boxes, books, or pieces of Tupperware I put in its way, the Slinky pushed forward and always proved that...

anything is 'figure-out-able'. 

But...what would happen if you put a Slinky on an forward moving escalator?  Not only would it never reach a destination, but it would be stuck in the same pattern and movement for as long as the escalator was moving.  It struck me that life can sometimes feel like a Slinky on an escalator;

  • doing the same thing day in and day out.
  • no sense of adventure. 
  • letting people around us make our decisions for us.
  • feeling safe and secure but also not excited.

The Slinky just wasn't made for the escalator.  Lets be honest, our flexible friend is all about new adventures, figuring out the bizarre and always landing on its feet (or bottom spring!). Slinky's are...

  • meant to try new things & go in weird directions.
  • meant to start and end multiple adventures.
  • meant be still between journey.
  • meant to bend and move across whatever is in its path.
  • meant to have fun!
  • always better for the adventure they have been on.

"  If you can see your path out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your pah.  Your own path you make with every step you take.  That's why it's your path."
-Joseph Campbell

Except for the fact that I ended up with the Police in my head singing Every Step You Take, I love that this quotation emphasizes how unique all of our paths are...and what a GOOD thing that is! 

So the questions I ask myself are:

  • what can I do during my day to mix it up?
  • who can I call to meet up with to make my day unique?
  • how can I see the familiar from different perspective?
  • how can I have fun today?
  • what side projects can I undertake to make me think in different ways?

What adventure do I want to take my Slinky on today?