Life is Not Black and White, Like Burchell's Zebra

One of the new style trends for spring is black and white. It’s classic. And I love it.

My black and white calendar? Not so much. My black and white attitude about caregiving (for everyone?) No way.

Misplacing my carefully crafted schedule a few days ago made me crazy. I couldn’t remember what to do.

And I was mad at myself.

I tried to follow my list perfectly, which is a bad thing. I couldn’t complete all the projects, errands, responsibilities that I thought I could. My expectations were too high. Everything seemed doable in black and white print.

Not so doable in real time, however. How could I forget about my 3 teenage distractions, senior parents, and the fast pace of life?

The power of “too much” left me reeling with do-it-or-die, have-to-keep-up, everything-will-fall-apart-if-I-don’t, I-can’t conclusions. You know, a pesky extreme of all-or-nothing, black or white. Something’s got to give so I can enjoy a healthier lifestyle. And soon.

I need to plan for flow, flexibility, and fun. To allow the spontaneous. To encourage the creative. To give the unexpected some appreciation.

This month, my schedule will not be black and white. It may include a shadowy subtle stripe of mocha to add margin and vitality. Like the Burchell’s zebra.

This zebra is not black and white. Trust me. (See the 7 pics below for proof!)

The gorgeous animal has a shadowy band of caramel-corn brown between the black and white stripes. I have seen it with my own eyes in Kruger National Park last summer. Our Jewel of Africa Safaris guide told us that when the zebras huddle together, shuffling–the group becomes a “dazzle” that almost hypnotizes predators, like the lion and the cheetah, so they cannot attack.

I want to fill my schedule with things I love to do, not just things I need to do. Like the Burchell’s zebra, I want to defend myself from dangerous predators, namely exhaustion, and stress. I need to be intentional and plan life-giving activities each day.

Is your schedule black and white? What could you add to make it dazzle?


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    Carole Pye

    I’m a freelance writer married to thrill-seeking husband, Jim, and mom to fantastic teenage sons: Austin, (18) Trevor, (16) and volunteer foster son, Chris (18). I am also a proud caregiver for my parents, Bob, a WWII Army Air Corps veteran, 87, and Jean, his wife, 85. In between the shuttling and the shuffling of senior boys and senior parents, you can find me sitting still, enjoying a cup of steaming hot tea while pondering the next thing to do.

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