Sometimes things happen that demand you reorder your life. Sometimes those things happen to other people but it still effects you. It’s like standing in an open field watching a kids soccer game and lightening strikes 15 ft away and kills someone. Why them? Why not you? You were standing over in that exact spot 15 minutes ago. That could have been you. But it wasn’t you. It happens all around us. Someone gets cancer. Someone’s child is in a fatal car crash. Someone gets divorced or their house burns down. A colleague gets a professional citation but you know that they are dedicated to their work.
None of it seems fair…..and yet…..you’ve escaped. This time. You’ve made it off the soccer field and are safely at home. Your own health is good. You kids are under the roof and sleeping soundly. You have a decent job and professional respect. But for how long? It all seems so random and inexplicable. How much of what I do truly determines my path? Or, are most of my decisions reactionary and corrective, accommodating and adjusting for the misfortunes and misfires? How autonomous are we?
I said in a staff meeting this week that one of the things we do well is adapt. We are agile and flexible and when handed a fast-pitched wild slider, we swing. Maybe we strike out. Maybe we get hit in the side of the head. But….we deal. We adjust. We get up, dust off, rapidly assess the situation and run like hell for 1st base. Anyone who knows me knows I hate the sports metaphor. But…sometimes they are apropos. We are good at adapting. I am good at adapting. I simply crave a sliver of time in which I can be absolved of being “on call”, not having to be the 1st responder. Not having to come up with a game plan or a stop gap measure. One day, I just want time to monkey around and be at ease.