One day this week I had an ordinary opportunity to practice everyday elegance and remind myself to gracefully glide through life like a swan, not flap about like a chicken with its head cut off.
I was in the middle of cleaning our house when I realized I needed a couple of things from the store before getting on with a long to-do list for the day. I was tired, and the temperature outside was pushing 100 degrees. As I drove into the parking lot, a driver ran a stop sign forcing me to slam on my brakes. My purse flew off the seat, and its contents spilled on the floor.
As I began to pull into a parking spot, I had to swerve to avoid another driver going the wrong direction. My cell phone slid deep under the passenger’s seat. In the blistering heat of the concrete parking lot, I practically stood on my head while moving the seat forward and backwards trying to grab the phone that was just out of reach. By the time I retrieved it (ironically using an ice scraper from the glove compartment) I was hot and bothered.
Muttering to myself and ready to flap into the store feeling anything but graceful, I paused and remembered to be a swan. I walked around my car and got back in the driver’s seat. I started the ignition, turned the radio to classical music, and adjusted the air vents. For a couple of minutes, I sat still and let myself cool down.
Then I briefly closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths, and thought about the acronym I have used as a personal mantra for years. These four little words are a quick and easy way for me to quickly adjust my attitude and face the world with a modicum of elegance.
SWAN ~ Simple Wise Attractive Nice
I’ve never written about this acronym for fear of revealing a silly little secret, but I’ve been thinking about how our personal lives, our relationships, and our communities could be improved if we all paid attention to those four simple words.
On this steamy ordinary day, I reminded myself that life is really pretty simple and my problems are relatively few. I was glad I’d wisely taken a few minutes to cool down and recenter myself. Wearing a casual denim dress, I felt reasonably attractive and thought about having good posture and a pleasant countenance. As my irritation melted away, I was more aware of simply being nice to fellow customers and store employees.
Simple. Wise. Attractive. Nice. Such an easy way to remember to be like a swan, gliding through an ordinary day with a little everyday elegance. §
“Grace will take you places hustling can’t.”
~ Elizabeth Gilbert
Featured Art ~ White Swan on White Lake by Melissa Pinner
3 thoughts on “Be a Swan ~ this simple acronym can help”
I felt waves of sympathy as I clearly pictured the gymnastics involved in retrieving your items from under the car seat, as I had done the same thing only a week ago. I could not seem to reach the car keys which I had dropped down the side of the seat and I wanted to get out of the car and go to the shops. I was also in a bother. The book on how to be a lady has been a constant, gentle reminder to me about behaviour but last week I struggled. Your acronym S.W.A.N. is perfect and applicable to all sorts of situations. I work well with acronyms after a career in the Navy where everything had one! You know, that just reminded me. I never swore when in the military but once I had children, it happened. Isn’t that interesting? Thank you for the regular help to be more graceful in life. I hope you are well. Cate
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Hello Cate! Thanks for reading and commenting. I enjoyed finding out that you had a career in the Navy. I always said I would have been a good fit for the military as I like formality, rules, and protocol. I bet I would have liked those acronyms, too. I’m glad I someone else appreciates my S.W.A.N. acronym. I was kind of embarrassed to share it. My mind is filled with silly things like that! I’m so thankful to know someone can relate to some of the things I write about. Thank you! ❤ Alicia
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You are very welcome Alicia and I am glad that you went out on a limb and decided to tell us about your helpful acronym as many of us have ‘silly’ things we do too. If you like formality, rules and protocol, you would probably have thrived in the military. I knew I would fit in because of this and it really was an environment where I felt comfortable. I tried to email you last night using the email address you mentioned in your last post, but it bounced back. Mine is email@example.com and maybe you could send me a line to just start the connection. Cheers, Cate.