(Editor’s note: Apologies to Mary and Noel for using the picture below 🙂 )
In the early ’80s, a fashion wave took over Northwood Middle School. It was quite colorful, primarily pinks and greens, and usually involved a little alligator on the shirt. Despite one of my friends, Edwin, leading the charge in this movement called preppy, I refused to take part. Give me jeans and a t-shirt, thank you very much. I mean who would want to wear penny loafers to school? Voluntarily! Edwin would, that’s who.
Around the same time, another fad emerged. This one involved colors as well. Six to be exact – red, blue, green, white, yellow, and orange. I’m talking about Rubik’s cube. This was a trend I couldn’t ignore. If somehow you are not familiar with Rubik’s cube, see the picture included with this post. The object of the puzzle was to scramble the colors, then work the cube back to its original state, each side’s color back solid.
I spent hours trying to figure out that darn cube. I had no trouble doing one side; let’s call it the top. Eventually, I figured out how to do the top plus the two top rows of the four sides. Alas, I never could figure out the final side rows and the bottom on my own. I also refused to peel the stickers off and move them, as some people did.
I eventually did figure out a solution, though: I bought an instruction manual. It cost me $1.95 of my hard-earned grass cutting money. I’m sure that was a lot of money in 1981 dollars. By following the manual, it didn’t take long to memorize the final steps and solve the cube at will. I remember my grandmother being impressed.
Recently, I purchased another Rubik’s cube. My original disappeared long ago. The final solving steps I memorized as a middle-schooler have also vanished, and I have yet to solve the cube. Again. I’m stuck on one side and some change. Again. However, I’m a bit of a pack rat and turns out, I have my 1981 The Simple Solution to Rubik’s Cube booklet. I refuse to look at it this time, though. For now.
As I thought about the cube recently, it occurred to me I could view the cube as a metaphor for life. The big cube, if you will. Each side represents an area of life – mental, physical, spiritual, family, career, and finances. It’s pretty easy to put one side in order (the top), maybe even parts of several other areas (the sides), but it is extremely difficult to put the whole cube together. I’m going to keep working on the small cube and the big cube. Probably going to take more than $1.95 to figure out the big cube.
Thanks for reading.