Do you have one or more special cards in your wallet or a desk drawer? Cards that you've saved and used for years. Maybe it's a business card you hang onto because it's got the number of that perfect plumber or handyman. Maybe it's a punchcard at a favorite cafe or bookstore ... a punch after every purchase, ten purchases and the next is free or discounted. Maybe it's a card of a business associate you worked with long ago and you want to keep in touch.
We all have these kinds of cards hiding in our wallets or tucked away in desk drawers. We've carried them for ages and over time they can get kind of dog-eared and scruffy on the edges. Membership and loyalty cards and credit cards can get scanned and swipped so often that the bar codes and magnetic strips begin to fade. At a shop where I once worked we had a regular, weekly client whose credit card was hard to scan, because he kept it in his back pocket and it was permanently curved to match his bottom!
Cards with strips and bar codes need to be replaced when they no longer can be read. Business cards sometimes can be from so long ago that they are irreplaceable. But as long as a card is readable by machines or eyeballs, they are useful no matter how banged up they get in a pocket or a drawer.
I have a favorite velour jacket that had to be dry cleaned recently, because last time I wore it I enjoyed a very sloppy wing dinner a bit more than I should have. No apologies for that ... I like to eat!
Last weekend, I got my newly-cleaned jacket out to wear again, and felt something rattling around in the pocket. This is what I found: a little stack of my business cards, all melted and fused together from the dry cleaning process, like some kind of paper sculpture. I don't know how many cards are there ... maybe 8 or 10.
My first instinct was to just toss them. But they are so funny looking, I couldn't do it yet. But aside from amusing me, what good are they?
Meanwhile, here we are at a new beginning of a new year.
I love new beginning places. You can have a day that's either great or rotten, but the sun sets, the sun rises, a new day appears and you can start afresh. Every Monday we can start afresh on a new week. Every 30 days or so, a new month. And now here we are with a clean, fresh new year stretched out before us.
But life is a journey and we get banged up along the way. We start afresh at the beginnings, but we carry with us the scars from what came before. And just like those cards, our bangs and scars will either just become a part of us, and we'll still be useful. But they can also be so severe they can stop us dead in our tracks, rendering us useless.
By the time you are reading this, you are already almost a month into the new year. You didn't have a choice ... you ARE banged and scarred from what has come before. The question is, will you allow those bangs and scars to stop you or to grow you?
Happy New Year. Let's get busy ...