I know what I want for Christmas: a magic wall.

Like many Americans, I’ve had difficulty tearing myself away from election news coverage this past week. I’ve watched split screens of four different television stations at once in order to see different predictions, projections, and perspectives, as well as the latest up-to-the-minute ballot counts in each of the battleground states.

One of the things I’ve been mesmerized by is a “magic wall” –  the name given to a giant computer monitor showing a map of the United States. It could display, with the push of a button or the tap of a finger, any combination of “What if’s?” about the election. The states could change color and shade depending on whether they were a confirmed or expected win for one candidate or the other, or still too close to call. Individual states could be zoomed in on, so the same could be done for different counties or regions. And with every scenario, actual or potential, the number of electoral votes for each candidate would automatically adjust to reflect the new information, as would the relevant percentages – votes cast, votes yet to count, and the overall lead one candidate had over the other.

That’s all over now, but there’s something I’ve come to realize about this magic wall:

I want one.

Not for political purposes, but for different areas of my life. Health and well-being. Goals and dreams. Time management. I’m already envisioning a variety of ways I could use it, and the improvements it would make in my life. With a few clicks on the magic wall, I could see in real time how my weight, energy, and outlook would change, depending on whether I had an apple or a brownie as an afternoon snack.

Or if I realized I wasn’t getting enough sleep, I could tap “Sleep” on the magic wall. It would show me where I could reduce time spent on other activities in order to add more sleep time, and would detail how those changes would affect other areas of my life.

And that’s just the beginning. Reading a book. Writing a book. Learning a new language. Developing a good habit, or breaking a bad one. The magic wall could track my progress and show me the real or potential benefits and consequences of any changes I make.

When I think about it, though, I realize I don’t really need a magic wall to give me this information. All I need is to keep track and pay attention. To make decisions mindfully, and acknowledge that whatever I do – or don’t do – on any given day determines how I look, how I feel, what I acquire, and what I accomplish.

So awareness and action are really the keys to any changes I might want to make – in any area of my life. And as long as the steps I take are positive, productive, and consistent, my life will change for the better.

Like magic.

November 8, 2020
©Betty Liedtke, 2020

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