Monday, February 8, 2010

How Pooh Are You?

No, that isn't an indelicate allusion to my blog title. It's about the stuffing you're made of.

It's human nature to label and categorize -- others, ourselves. At its core, it's probably a matter of risk assessment and survival. But regardless of what motivates it, we all do it. Sometimes with malice; often in fun. Who hasn't taken one of those silly Facebook quizzes to see, "Which 'Grey's Anatomy' or 'Sex and the City' Character Are You?" (I'm mostly Meredith, by the way. And terminally Carrie, of course.)

Long ago, I began categorizing people as Winnie the Pooh characters. This wasn't an original concept -- I don't recall if it was borne of my reading 'The Tao of Pooh' or some other work. But most folks I know did seem to fit one Milnean archetype or another. And I'm confident if I were to describe a friend as a "Tigger" or an "Eeyore," anyone familiar with the denizens of The Hundred Acre Wood would form an immediate and fairly accurate impression of the personality at issue.

It was with a certain amount of pride that I accepted the label of "Pooh," when a friend assigned it to me. Though I wasn't sure how I felt about being likened to a bear of very little brain, I did consider myself fairly amiable, dependable, and, more often than not, peaceful. You know what they say about pride, though....

I made the erroneous assumption that our personality types -- our characters -- were static: Once a Piglet, always a Piglet. I took my Poohness for granted. And somewhere along the line, I wandered away from it -- or it from me.

I didn't notice it quite so much while I was being Rabbit. When one is extremely busy and very important, there isn't much time for introspection. However, when I found myself sounding (and feeling) exceedingly Eeyorish, it occurred to me that perhaps I really had lost my way. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for poor old Eeyore, but I don't want to be him.

Quite frankly, to the extent we get to choose our character, I'd like to take a little bit of (the best of) all of them: the bravery of Piglet, the intellect of Owl, the exuberance of Tigger, etc. But mostly, I think I'd like to get back to that calm, steady, peaceful place of Pooh.

So, help me if you can I've got to get
back to the house at Pooh corner by one
You'd be surprised there's so much to be done,
count all the bees in the hive,
chase all the clouds from the sky .
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh,
back to the days of Christopher Robin,
back to the ways of Pooh...


  1. Very astute set of observations, Susie. Everybody sooner or later feels like they've lost their footing because of certain events in their life. One day you're anchored, then stuff happens, next day you're adrift with a broken compass. In your case, however, looks like your compass works just fine because you know where you want to go. Pooh Island. Like a lot of these Pixar movies, (Ice Age 1 & 2, Up, Toy Story) the adventure is in the voyage itself where the characters overcome all sorts of obstacles to get to their destination, and in the course of things become stronger as they learn about themselves and hidden qualities they never even knew they had.

    So even on those days where you get up, look in the mirror and see Eeyore staring back, you already know that he's just a part of you and not all of you. Which of course means that you have your marching orders for the day. You start heading for the tree with with Mr. Sander's name on it. Right?

  2. In the many years I've known you I am very happy to say that I have seen almost all of the Pooh characters in you, except Piglet, which you are not, and Tigger, which belongs to me. You are my Christopher Robbin - always there for me in a jam; the wise old Owl (not old though); Kanga because of that unforgattable pouch, and you are always prepared (like granola bars in Cancun); but mostly - you are Pooh bear, which makes you everyone's dearest friend and so damn loveable! I have only seen you as grumpy Rabbit a few times -- just kidding!

  3. "Illustrations" :) -- Thank you. I'd like to think you're right about that.

    Di: Thank you, as well. You know what they say about Tiggers. *Hugs*