Sleeping Beauty Misses Out in Life
She was too pretty to play with, said my mother.
So, she wrapped Mariola in blue tissue paper, lest light yellow her porcelain-like skin and crisp-white ballerina outfit; tied soft bows around her wrists and ankles to preserve her ladylike stance; and then stored her in a closet where she remained, in the dark, for the next 50 years.
Mariola was one of the first dolls that could open and close her lids. She did that slowly, languidly, with thick eyelashes for added dramatic effect.
Too bad her eyes remained closed for half a century; that she never got to move her hands and feet; never got to see the light in the playground.
There were times when on visits to my parents’ home I would open the box, marvel at her alabaster beauty, and wonder what was the point of giving a child a doll too delicate to play with, too prissy to get dusty on a shelf, too sensitive to daylight.
I asked myself that same question this past week as I was letting go of things to make room for new interests.
You won’t be surprised to know that Mariola did not pass Marie Kondo’s “does it bring joy?” test. I dismissed her with a heartfelt “Thank you for waiting all these years.”
Mariola’s story made me think of the opportunities we put on hold. Opportunities we keep dormant, whether in a closet or in our minds, while we wait for a day when we may have more time, more courage, more resources to explore them.
The danger is that when that day finally comes, the opportunity—or our ability to seize it– may have passed.
It certainly is too late for Mariola and me to hit the playground, but not too late for other things I’ve put on hold.
This why I think of this time of my life as my Bonus Round.