Friday, October 28, 2011

Like My Mimi Always Said ...

Everybody’s grandma had a saying.  In the south it’s the way most anecdotes start … “Like my Grandma used to say …” It is like you have this person who validates what you mean.  A person that can relate what you say, and if you offend whoever you’re talking to, well … your Grandma used to say it.  Not you.  My grandma had a great phrase.  Whenever someone did something really stupid, or that just “didn’t make no sense at all,” she’d always say “Oh that just tears me out of my frame!”  I don’t know what it means.  I can’t tell you why she said it. But she said it a lot. And it’s one of my favorite things my Mimi used to say.  ‘Cause boy do I still use it today.  It’s just the best thing I know to say for some things. 

One of the top things that tears me out of my frame is the phrase “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it.”  Ooh boy does that get me!  Frame gone, crazy redneck lady here.  I mean it’s one thing if the way we’ve always done it works.  Or if it does something positive.  Or if it gets anyone else to join in our cause.  But when the way we’ve always done it is a dead horse that we’re beating then it’s not okay.  It’s stupid to look at a fish, get all mad at it for climbing a tree to get something, yet every year get a fish to do the job.  If we only did things the way we always did them there’d be no wheel.  Or phone.  Or vaccine for polio.  If we don’t find innovative ways to do things, we sit in the same ol’ rut and make the same ol’ decisions and nothing gets better. 

New ideas are exactly what I live for.  I love to find new ways to do the same ol’ same ol’.  Creativity meets new ways to do things.  It makes what we were doing better.  It tweaks things.  It’s my thing.  I love to find new ideas.  I love hearing “hey, what if this time we …” followed by something that is amazing and great!  Or it isn’t and we don’t do it again.  Whatever.  But we tried it.  We moved on beyond the biddies in the hen yard that refuse to learn to fly because hens can’t fly.  Beyond the idea that it just can’t possibly work because we’ve never tried it.  We move into the realm of Edison, Einstein, and Newton, Pasteur.  Among those who said “good enough isn’t good enough anymore.” 

Tell me it’s the way we’ve always done it and it’ll get me riled up.  It will challenge me to find another way simply to show you that there is possibly a better way.  Moving on, and moving up is the way to make things better.  It’s a way to better an organization.  I love my kids’ school.  I love being able to put my two cents in as a PTA Board member.  That’s my passion.  Making a difference.  But you better doggone guarantee that when it comes to the way we’ve always done it, I won’t accept that.  There are so many new, inventive ideas out there.  Everyone has them, and we just have to embrace them.  That’s what I do.  I like new ways to accomplish the same old goals.  It’s easy to put on the comfy way we’ve always done it slippers and sit back and let it be what it’s always been.  But I’m getting my spiky boots and trying something new.  Because new may be the way to get more people involved.  Because new says “we want to grow and change”.  New says “we don’t want the same 10 people we’ve always had doing the same 10 things we’ve always done because change is scary.”  Change is scary.  But scary is fun.  I love scary.  I get on the rollercoaster that goes backwards because it’s scary fun.  I want to leave my mark.  I want people to do things in a new way because I tried something different today.  And I refuse to accept that because it’s “not the way we’ve always done it” as justification for not trying something.  I want to be the Edison of my organization. 

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