In Deepak Chopra's Book "Ageless Body: Timeless Mind" he mentioned one of the important qualities to people who lived past 100; adaptability, acceptance of change.
This brings to mind older folks walking around with cell phones, dinking around on Facebook and listening to current music, but adapting to change doesn't necessarily mean being up-to-date on technology. Adaptability to change means that you know life will be filled with changes all the time, roadblocks, detours, and giant brick walls with smooth surfaces that say "Dead End!"
You know those disaster movies of the 70s like "Poseidon Adventure"? You had your folks who feared moving from their spot on the dance floor ceiling and those who realized that to stay there was to be deeper in the water and to climb was to get closer to the surface. Some folks stop in the midst of a change in their plans and either freeze, unable to make a decision, or stubbornly stay with the course they were on, even though the path is no longer navigable.
Adaptable people don't stomp their feet and cry and scream that it's unfair that their plans were interrupted. They neither believe life should be perfect nor go as planned every single time.
I have never known a new reality to not have some amazing payoff. Sometimes, it's simply a perspective on things. When I was a kid one time, my sister drove me out into the countryside and we stopped to look at a cool railroad track. The car wouldn't start. My sister didn't have a fit, didn't wait for a stranger to finally come down the road and climb into their car. Nope. She thought a moment. "Who do I know around here?" I mentioned a sibling's friend who lived nearby, just through the woods.
So, my sister and I went on an adventure across the train tracks to the friend's house to use the phone. On the way, however, we discovered a huge pond. We stopped and sat down for a time and watched some beavers hard at work. We got up and headed further into the woods where she handed me some beautiful fallen colored leaves like they were treasures and I squealed with delight to know I could go press them into wax paper when I got home. We stopped and listened to a woman in her back yard singing as she hung laundry and her crisp beautiful voice seemed to make the autumn leaves shimmer overhead like gentle applause. We remembered our purpose and made it to the friend's house where the mother happily called our parents and sat us down to some newly made warm chocolate cake and hot cocoa. We talked for an hour until our family showed up to help and during that time heard amazing stories of her upbringing in the deep South.
The day provided not a car that refused to work and a trek that was stopped short, but a new path, new experiences, beautiful memories we couldn't have made if the car hadn't broken down forcing us to walk through the woods and find leaves, a beaver pond and a woman singing and a warm cake and hot cocoa and stories. Had we just driven home, that would have been the end of the adventure. Sometimes, adventures are born from how you handle glitches in your plans.
Serendipity: An aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
Adventure: An exciting or very unusual experience.
Adaptable: Able to adjust oneself readily to different conditions.
People ask me a lot why I'm such a positive person with so many miserable events in my life, but the truth is, I didn't enter the human race to make a planned out trek with great rigidity. The world was here long before I came along and long after I'm gone. It didn't suddenly come into being when I was born and conform to my expectations of what it should give me. I came to adapt and learn, observe and grow, become resourceful and always know that whatever happens, I just skip around it, leap over it, or plant a happy bunch of daisies atop it!
Point taken. I have always admired do-it-yourself people , who have a courage to have an adventure. Being myself a recluse i lead a hidden life and capable to imagine that i am one those rare beings who can avert any crisis without mussing a hair only watching shows like McGuyver.ReplyDelete
When I use to visit my grandparents in northern jersey I loved going on walks with my granddad and exploring old train tracks and small cemeteries behind smaller churches and going black cap picking yummmm. Unfortunately a lot of those places are long gone and housing communities have overtaken the beauty of those places. Taking a wrong turn down a street or just randomly walking in the city is something I always liked and found some great places and even stranger adventures that way. Great post and ty for sparking some great memories.ReplyDelete
I'm sooooo glad you're not reclusive in the blog world. Your presence here enhances the experience so much. Sometimes, the most adaptable people show themselves in being able to take on technology. When I see people fighting it tooth and nail, I know that they surely do this in any "new reality" in their lives. So, you've already showed a wonderful adaptable nature.
Slowdeath77; I love that you can appreciate those things. There are many who never experienced those kinds of interactions with nature and with elders. Yes, neighborhoods change, I know that well, yet you can explore anywhere really if you just ask yourself -- what's at that next stop sign if I turn right? What's over that next hill?ReplyDelete
You said... "but the truth is, I didn't enter the human race to make a planned out trek with great rigidity."ReplyDelete
This is SO true... we need to let Life have a bit more of a serendipitous path to it. On my way back to Mississippi from New Mexico last summer, I decided to exit off of I-40 at Tucumcari, NM... in order to visit a dinosaur museum, and instead, spent most of the afternoon looking at all of the old 'Route 66' era structures that are still there!
We are here such a short time. We should make the most of it!
I'm all about the adventures, Shoes. When I was a kid, after we enduring the long day at church, my dad would pile us into the car and us kids would tell him when to turn right and left and lead the path through places we didn't know, wondering what was around the next corner. Us kids would consider the directions carefully, not knowing what might be over the next bridge or bend or flank of forest trees. We learned about odd museums we didn't know existed, historic sites, abandoned cemeteries, towns with great diners... Going with the flow--keeps your mind and heart young.ReplyDelete