where wildly different is perfectly normal
I refuse to acknowledge a box
I refuse to acknowledge a box

I refuse to acknowledge a box

Do you know an Out Of The Box Thinker? Chances are you do, you just didn’t know what to call it. Perhaps bizarre or eccentric or just plain odd. Marches to the beat of a different drummer. Square peg in a round hole. You know the drill. They’re the ones who have a different perspective, who are considered just a bit…off. The creative ones. The complex ones.

A is one of those. He not only thinks outside of the box, he climbs upon it and declares to the world that the box is stupid and boring and really only good for climbing and declaring. I am learning to respect that.

I am…sigh…not an Out Of The Box Thinker. I am safely ensconced inside my box. It’s warm and comfy there. I have pillows and warm blankies and books and wine and fine dark chocolate. I’m safe there. But…sometimes it’s stuffy and claustrophobic.

My oldest son is coaxing me out of my box. Slowly.

My box in recent years has gotten smaller and stuffier and more boring. So I’m starting to leave it, just a little bit at a time, if only in my mind.

Who says I have to replace my aging minivan with another one, just because I have kids? Maybe I’d like a sporty SUV instead.

Who says I should keep XYZ, just because I’ve always had them?

Who says I have to wear the clothes I do, keep the routine I do, live the life I’ve had?

What if I want to…gasp!…change? Live a life so out of the box that people wonder what has happened to me?

Change is good, change is difficult, change can be wonderful.

A is making me an Out Of The Box Thinker, Beginner Level. He’s advanced, black belt. But he’s a good teacher, and I’ll learn. And you can’t help but change when you leave the box.

Wish me luck.


  1. HeatherS

    I feel ya, Jen. I’m so in the box, it’s not even funny. Completely rule-bound to the point of ridiculousness. I find myself saying things to my sons that I always abhorred as a kid, such as “don’t color outside the lines.” I don’t understand it completely. I say that I love creativity and uniqueness, yet when it comes to my kids (especially the older one), sometimes I just crave conformity and in-the-box thinking – why can’t you just be like everyone else?

    This is a nice post. Perhaps I’ll try traveling outside the box, too. 🙂

  2. JenC

    The box is the thing that you stand on to reach the top. (OK, cliched and sappy, but true!)Let me know when you come out of yours. I’d like to go with A when he gives you the tour!

      1. JenC

        Given our boys, maybe I should have phrased it “The box is what you stand on to reach the stuff on the high shelves that you’re not supposed to have and promptly use for destructive purposes”. Good luck with your cracked-out ferrets!

  3. Sarah

    We say M runs on DC while the rest of us are on AC. And with all the testing and stuff lately, and all of them saying how he is wired and out of the box, I have decided to take a flame thrower to my box (after retrieving the wine- waste not want not), and take a fully out of the box approach to M, cuz I have a feeling that I’m gonna need out of the box thinking to work with him effectively….

    Besides, the box has never really worked well for me… :p

    1. Jen

      That’s a really good analogy. And learn from my mistakes: if you can parent him out of the box, and to hell with society’s perceptions and expectations, then both of you will be happier.

      1. Sarah

        That’s my hope. I don’t want to change who he is. I figure I just need to learn how he is, instead of trying to make him be who he isn’t…

        Easier said than done, I know… LOL

  4. Benoit

    Have a nice journey out of your box !

    To think out of the box can be fun and creative but it also leads to a lot of difficulties and relational problems.
    What about the OATB answers at exams ?

    1. Jen

      Well, I no longer need to take exams, but I’m also in the box enough to know how to play the game. I know the stupid answers the exams are looking for. But to live my life out of MY box…that would be a change for me. I’ve spent an awful lot of my life and energy trying to fit in. Why? Why not live outside the box?

Whaddya think?

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