Most of the population are thermometers. They are the followers, the lemmings. A thermometer tells you what the temperature is. A thermometer reflects the environment that it is in. The status quo followers who are content with the ambient temperature, and happy to be a lemming. If you’ve been here before, you know I”m not a status quo lemming. The popular crowd says go right, I go left.
Then there are the thermostats. A thermostat determines the temperature of an environment. A thermostat will tell you the temperature, as well as allow you to change the temperature. The thermostat is the person who blazes their own path, dares to go against the grain, or strikes out on something new or different. A thermostat determines that although nobody in my family has ever succeeded in accomplishing a specific goal, goes after it anyway.
That’s the kind I want to be, the thermostat. I am not one to follow the masses in much of anything. I have my own sense of style or lack of it. I have my own tastes, which are usually determined by how it fits, comfort, and color. I do have a lot of black, you can never go wrong with black. However, my closet looks like a rainbow. Maybe it’s a subconscious effort to be like rainbow girl Mac!
A thermostat doesn’t let family heritage determine what they can and can’t do. “My daddy was a farmer, and his daddy was a farmer and his daddy before him. All of us are farmers. It’s what we do.”
A thermostat doesn’t let their place of origin determine the level of their success. “Ain’t nothin’ good ever come out of Tulsa.” (man spits chaw onto ground from corner of his mouth.) “And if you’s from Tulsa, then you ain’t no good either.”
The thing is, that inside we’re all hardwired to do something that’s uniquely us. It may the same general thing as your buddy but you put your own special bent on it. If you’re a mechanic, Joe may specialize in GM products while Tom specialized in BMW’s. The same general thing, but different.
My Great Grandfather was a preacher, and he founded the church in our local area. He authored several books which consisted mostly of his sermon notes, but they were published. He was my mother’s grandfather, yet she seemed to forget about his accomplishment when any discussion of me pursuing writing came up. I needed to pursue a legitimate career, one that would provide an income.
I shelved the dreams for years, and pursued a career as a cartographer. There was some very interesting times working for federal government as a cartographer, and it had a great salary. It was very unfulfilling.
Ironically though, in the last month of my mother’s life she encouraged me to pursue my dreams. Three days before she died, she signed me up for an internet writing course. I didnt’ find out about it until two weeks later when I started getting all the course material in the mail.
So you’re probably thinking, ‘why am I off on this rabbit trail about my mom when I”m suppose to be talking about thermometers and thermostats?’ There’s a very good reason!
Before my mom passed away, I was very much a thermometer. I tried to be the person she wanted me to be and live my life to please her. Guess what? It never really worked. We never had an ideal mother daughter relationship, and there were many subjects we just didn’t discuss. I had to reconcile our relationship with this gesture she made for me. I was angry because she didn’t ask me, angry because I couldn’t talk with her about it – she died! And I was angry about the conditions in which she died.
It’s taken me a couple of years to work things out for myself and I’ve spent most of my life as a people pleaser, and accepting the status quo. I was very unhappy and dissatisfied with my life. In the past year I”ve turned my boat around and instead of floating downstream with the current, I’m paddling hard upstream against the status quo to regain my life. I’m going to go for my dreams, and be the thermostat. I”m setting the temperature, the climate, and setting the rules. I don’t want to be a lemming, I’m marching to a different drummer even if I”m the only one that hears the cadence.
I’ve been the thermometer and it sucked! I’m having a blast as the thermostat! I’ll give you fair warning though, things may get a little hot for your comfort, I know it does for me. But here’s the thing; nothing really happens when you’re comfortable. Muscles don’t grow when you sit on a comfy couch.
Out there, in the uncharted regions where the dragons are? That’s where the magic happens. That’s where success is achieved.
Sure, I may fall down a few times, skin my knees or have myself a little cryfest. I’m not quitting and I’m not going back to being a thermometer.
Mercury, in Roman mythology was the messenger to the Gods. He carried the messages back and forth between the deities. He gave the reports, he didn’t write them. That’s not my dream. If it’s yours great, go for it! He was also considered the god of travel – now that’s part of my dream. I plan to travel to many places throughout the world beginning with Scotland, Great Britain and the Caribbean.
By achieving the first dream, it will allow me to do the second. Hey, we all have our motives right?
What aspect of your life are you being the thermometer and what parts do you want to be the thermostat?
In our home, a battle is waged over control of the thermostat. I’m here the majority of the time and I win. I take my victories wherever I can get them.
I strive to be a thermostat these days – instead of the thermometer I was in the past. People pleaser, yes, but also scared to strike out on my own. Afraid of failing.
Seems so stupid to admit to now – because really, what’s the harm in trying? What’s the worst that could happen? Pfft. Its worth smacking myself into action and making the attempt 🙂
I never win control of the thermostat in our house. I’m just glad in this place (as opposed to our last one) we HAVE a thermostat… 😉
A most timely, well written, post Ms. Mack :-). I too have found my inner thermostat and I’m cranking up the heat something fierce.
I think i am a thermostat.