Friday, February 21, 2014

Roll with the Punches and Live in the Moment

Work in Progress -- Black-eyed Junco  Oil on Canvas (white marks / edits)

I completed reading the book: “A Shoemaker’s Wife” by Adriana Trigiani; a delightful tale which takes place in the Alps of Italy. I was intrigued by this story having traveled to this area and experienced the beauty and the people of that region first hand.

I wrote down the advice given to the young bride, a key character in the story, because I knew it was a golden nugget of truth: “Don’t worry about bad things that haven’t happened yet. It will save you a lot of anxiety.”

We all tend to worry about the things we fear and the events that we suspect are inevitable. We waste time and effort fretting about those things that we cannot control most of which never happen. If we followed the advice of the author, and stopped worrying about “bad things that haven’t happened (or may never happen), we’d be a lot better off.

I was told this was a walnut tree, but they don't develop a real nut???
I’m reminded of an experience I had years ago when I was in charge of a Hawaiian dinner that was being held outdoors. On the ground, we had colorful cushions placed around lengths of white butcher paper that served as a table cloth. Fresh flowers adorned the paper at intervals. Barbecue grills were set up for cooking, and leis were given out to each guest.

A former resident from Hawaii provided music and dancing while the food was cooking. What could go wrong? And then a rain storm moved in quickly and forced us inside. We pulled the barbecue grills under the eaves, gathered our cushions, flowers, and table adornments indoors and improvised things from there.

Initially, I thought I might come “unglued” and fall apart the stress was so great, but I didn’t. With the help of others who pitched in to help, we ended up having a glorious time. I learned how important it is to be adaptable. When fear and a crisis threaten to shake your sanity and your coping mechanisms, go with the flow. Roll with the punches and deal with one crisis at a time. Of course, a sense of humor never hurts either.

If you can identify this tree / nut, please give me feedback!

I was amazed and grateful at how forgiving other people can be in a crisis and how willing to pitch in and help when the “going gets rough.”

This is a close up of the "pod" as it grows on the tree; notice the shape of the leaves.
Being flexible and adaptable reminds me of the principle behind a rubber band. It’s a simple tool that we use all the time to bind things together. It will stretch and adapt as needed; but only to a point. Its flexibility may be tested if pushed too far. When we press it beyond its capability, a rubber band will snap. But it will expand and grow if we ease it slowly and carefully; a simple lesson in how to adapt in a crisis.
Another "work in progress" with editing marks; 11 x 14 oil on canvas