Lunch and Learn with Lindsay – Issue 41: The comfort of predictability

I had a lovely “out of work hours” WhatsApp conversation with Sarah Howson the other evening (you can learn more about Sarah in my latest “EA/PA Chataway with Lindsay” podcast Episode 6 from our website here or from wherever you normally get your podcast inspiration). 

Sarah has the most gorgeous young boys that I have had the pleasure to meet in person and who I can’t wait to see again when pandemic restrictions are lifted.

When I first met Sarah I gifted all my daughter’s childrens books to her boys. During our WhatsApp conversation, I got the cutest video of her youngest son “reading” one of his favourites about an owl and sharing some very impressive “twit-twoo” sound effects!

Sarah sent a photo of the book insert which had “this book belongs to Lottie Taylor” on it and it brough back such happy memories of storytime (before bedtime) with Lottie.

Lottie’s favourite book was an Elmer the Elephant board book (not one that we gifted to Sarah as the edges were rather tatty from overhandling and it was a bit of a sorry state from being over-loved!).

I remember vividly trying to turn 2 pages at once and shortening storytime (it had been a loooong day and “in the know” parents will empathise with this “2 page turn” strategy to bring forward bedtime…). Lottie was so cross that I’d missed a bit of the story out. Her pre-empting and knowledge of every page of the story was evident. 

It got me to thinking about the familiarity and predictability of situations and their resulting comfort. It’s comforting isn’t it when we know “what’s coming next” and we can confidently turn the page with a certainty of narrative to our story?

As the last year has proved, when we miss narrative, when we don’t know what the next page of our story contains or indeed (in as in the “2-page turn” strategy) when we miss content, this can be incredibly unsettling. With predictability and familiarity removed, we are faced with different content and a foreign narrative.

Remember though,  with difference comes opportunity and the promise of a new exciting narrative. Balance this with the return of familiarity and some predictability on the horizon and for that reason I am excited (and ready!).  Maybe I would be taking it too far with the Fairy Tale-esque “and they lived happily ever after” but who knows?!

What do you think?


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