I have two black pens on my desk near my “Dry Erase” white board. One is a dry marker and one is a permanent ink Sharpie. They look very similar. I always look at the label before I write on my white board – or so I thought until this morning. I picked up my eraser only to realize that all the writing in purple and blue came right off but the black permanent ink did not. Oh, no, I’d used the wrong pen! My brand new white board was now ruined. I’d just bought a replacement- after learning that Windex ruins the surface – causing even dry markers to become permanent ones. Learning the dos and don’ts of white-boarding aren’t as simple as you’d think.
Frustrated now, I picked up my eraser again and tried scrubbing harder – nothing. Then I got my all natural lemon cleaner (no Windex) and carefully tried a tiny section – nothing. I had at least learned not to spray it down with ammonia and ruin the surface again.
I stood back, looking at what I’d written in permanent black ink and felt ashamed. I’d ruined another one. Then, my husband offered a solution! He put the problem in GOOGLE and there came an answer! Simply cover the permanent writing with a dry ease marker’s ink, let it sit 2-5 minutes and erase with a DRY ERASE eraser. Could this really work? I grabbed my purple pen and started covering the black writing with my purple dry erase marker – and almost instantly the black ink beneath began to disappear. It was magic! I scribbled on more purple and waited, impatiently. Again, I took up my eraser – it all came off, permanent and dry ink together. Once again, I had a smooth, clean WHITE board!
Such a simple solution and one I never would have thought of. I had written with a pen clearly marked PERMANENT INK. In my mind, that meant it wasn’t coming off unless I used something that would ruin the surface of my board – I had to either let the writing remain and work around it, or go purchase another board. This one was mounted to the wall with molly bolts – not an easy thing to just take down, besides, I couldn’t justify throwing away another board.
As I watched the permanent ink disappear right along with the dry erase ink, the eraser gliding across, taking away the problem with a few easy strokes, I felt almost jubilant. It was so much more than a simple white board – this was an epiphany!
Here was a problem that seemed permanent. It was permanent. It said so right there in simple black letters: PERMANENT — indelible – INK. And, then, comes a solution that is so simple – one that wouldn’t seem like a solution at all. I used the RIGHT ink just as I should have in the first place, and it eliminated the WRONG ink.
So, with my daily challenges, those things I strive to improve, those habits I struggle to change, if I continue to do the right thing, it will eventually erase the wrong things, wrong choices I’ve made, wrong decisions. No one’s past choices or decisions or habits can be changed. They are history; they are indelible ink. But, I can keep doing the right thing, I can keep improving on my habits; I can keep going in the right direction; I can keep making course corrections toward my goal and those things I did that pulled me back, took me off course, detoured me and my dreams, those things would dissolve beneath the dry erase ink. All of a sudden, it hit me. You hear the phrases all the time – the past is the past, it’s history and you cannot change it. Today is all we have – go forward from where you are right now and don’t look back because that past is dead and gone.
That past, those mistakes, those wrong choices, those people who didn’t believe, those dream-stealers – those are all permanent black ink that are dissolving beneath the right choices and the right thoughts and the positive things I do TODAY! My white board – my life – is clean and ready for any journey I choose to take. Full speed ahead!