Building a Legacy for Myself

LEGOS. Those cheerfully bright, colorful toy bricks that are the bane of bare feet everywhere. Most of us have or have known children and adults obsessed with LEGOS. They’ve even spawned a Reality Show, “BRICK MASTERS” (a dubious honor, as what doesn’t spawn a reality show these days?)

Yet, a single LEGO brick, regardless of its infinite capacity for foot torture, is nondescript, unimpressive. Add a few together, though, and then more and, magically, those bricks transform into castles and starships, skyscrapers, trucks, fantastical, endless possibilities. Brick after brick, we witness amazing creations unfold, grow, become. None of this is possible without that first brick.

So, what if you approach a year in your life this way? Any single day’s accomplishments feel small, meaningless, often pointless, but add them up and see what those accomplishments look like if you aim for fantastical creations, a little at a time, day by day.

Voila! My LEGO Journey was born. In a maternal stroke of genius, I deemed my bored middle schooler the perfect foil for the collection of 365 toy bricks. I handed him a basket to fill with LEGOS that I could build into a tower. I assumed he, like me, would grab basic bricks in various colors. 

He surprised me. He not only brought me bricks that were varied in color; he picked out bricks that look like windows and fences, palm trees and weaponry; bricks that were big, small, curved, angled, hollow. I asked him how I could build a tower with these. 

He looked perplexed, “Why would you just build a tower? You could build anything! Don’t you want to see what this pile will be?” I stared, pole-axed, because “Well, yeah. Now I do!” 

Along with the daily grind of simply placing a brick, he unintentionally reminded me that I need to add color, texture, weird angles, and odd shapes. How can I reach for endless, fantastical possibilities if I can’t even step outside my comfort zone with toy bricks?

The quest almost sputtered out before it even began, as I still couldn’t get out of my own way to place even a single brick. Does it count if I achieved something as silly as “skipped late night snack?” Do I not add the brick if I didn’t do that specific thing or add extra bricks if I did two things?

“Why does any of that matter?” I heard the voice of my youngest in my head, pushing past my adult barriers, yet again, “Just build!”

So, I adjusted my plan and voila, LEGO Mondays were born. Monday #1, I challenged my inner child to add LEGOS with joyful abandon. Took 5 deep breathes to start my morning? Brick! Completed that stupid survey that I’d been avoiding? Brick! Unpacked a Haunted House box? Two Bricks! It was ridiculous, beautiful chaos.

Monday #2 is when the real work begins. I take a picture of the first week’s build. I write a reflection of its meaning for me, for my journey. I embrace last week’s becoming. And I begin again.