Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Phantom Tollbooth


Prompt: Today – go over to your bookshelf (or wherever you have a book handy) and open it up. Point randomly to a part of a page and read it. Now head over to your blog (or wherever you drafts posts) and free-write for 15 minutes based off of the word, phrase, sentence, or paragraph that you find in a book. See where that random passage takes you and post without editing if you can!

“Why are you in the Doldrums anyway, don’t you have anywhere to go?
“I was on my way to Dictionopolis when I got stuck here,” explained Milo.  “Can you help me?”
“Help you! You must help yourself,” the dog replied.  “I suppose you know why you got stuck.”
“I guess I just wasn’t thinking,” said Milo.

Have you ever been stuck in the Doldrums?  It’s an awful, awful place where time seems to slow down and doing anything at all seems impossible.  Those of us who find ourselves facing a chronic illness might find ourselves in this unpleasant place more often than we’d like to admit.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the negatives we face when dealing with the things we can’t ignore each and every day.  We focus too much on what we don’t like instead of reveling in the great things that surround us!

Our hero, Milo, found himself in the Doldrums because he wasn’t paying attention to what he was doing or where he was going.  That’s definitely another way to get to feeling down.  I know that when I don’t pay attention and maybe eat things I shouldn’t, I get down because I’ve “blown it.”  I think we’re too hard on ourselves.

So how do we get out of the Doldrums?  All Milo had to do was use his brain.  He just needed to think (which is what he wasn’t doing when he found himself in trouble).  “Milo’s brain whirled with activity, and down the road they went.  In a few moments they were out of the Doldrums…”  Sounds easy, eh?  Sometimes all we need to do is think about the good things around us.  Think about what we can do to improve our health or situation.  Thinking is good, but then you have to DO something about it!  Don’t find yourself stuck in the Doldrums because you failed to pay attention!  Think!  Act!!  SMILE!!!

The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster is, by far, one of my favorite books….ever!  It’s a children’s book that was first published in 1961 about a boy named Milo “who didn’t know what to do with himself”.  He travels through a bizarre land meeting the king of Dictionopolis, the Mathemagician, Faintly Macabre, the not so wicked Which and many more.  He visits the Island of conclusions (which can only be reached by jumping.)  It is a very witty and wise book that speaks to readers of all ages.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

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