“Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.” Jamais Cascio
The problem with an accident is that there is no warning and afterwards the shock overtakes us for protection. When reality finally sets in, it is hard not to analyze how it happened and why.
I’ve replayed many times that moment before I fell on the hike a couple of weeks ago. There was a moment I hesitated before I stepped onto the spot where I fell. If only I had hesitated a little longer and decided not to take that step.
We Cannot Change the Past
But we can’t change the past. What’s done is done. I have a broken ankle. I won’t be able to walk for several weeks, so what am I going to do in the meantime. I’ve done “angry,” “blaming self for being foolish” and “you should have warned me.” So now it’s time to move on and make something good out of this.
We Can Make Something Good Out Of Negative Experiences
It’s forcing me to rest more, which is good. I kept saying I needed to make the time to meditate – well, now I have it. I have the time to rest and think. And I have to be more creative. How will we take that trip we planned to celebrate a special time in a relative’s life? How will I teach the class I was supposed to teach?
I wrote the first three paragraphs two weeks ago, and during the last weekend in April, I taught “How to Make Your Story Come Alive” at the Blue Ridge Bookfest in my wheel chair. Somehow I had managed to finish preparing the workshop between severe coughing bouts (oh yeah, I developed a bad allergic reaction to the oak tassels falling in my yard) and insomnia.
Despite my limited movement, the class was very responsive and asked good questions and I enjoyed teaching despite the fact that I am used to moving around and writing on the white board. It was a different experience, but I do prefer to be on my feet.
I also discovered that my fiancé is totally dedicated to my well-being. He has become my home health care professional 24 hours a day and I feel extremely well cared for. I don’t have to call on strangers as I did several years ago when I broke my elbow, nor do I have to go to a rehab facility where I am treated as senile although at the time I was there, I was fully in charge of my faculties.
We Have to Adapt to the Changes
Over all, things have been going well despite my fiancé’s car dying the day we headed out for the bookfest. Fortunately, mine was working well and we were able to reload the car quickly and arrive on time. That same week the toaster oven I use to cook everything died. Oh yes, and after living here ten years, for the first time, I’ve been called to jury duty—a couple of weeks before my wedding.
Of course this is all happening in the middle of our making final plans for our wedding. Well, at least it hasn’t been boring. Who knows what will happen next. I’m at the laughing stage now, and can say, “We’ll deal with it.”
Most of the time, when the unexpected and not so pleasant things occur in life, all we can do is adapt. No matter how hard we plan, life will create obstacles, and hopefully we can circumvent or overcome them, accepting that reality and perhaps learning from them.
We Can Learn Important Lessons From Negative Experiences
What have I learned from this experience? That when I’m on a slippery slope, I need to weigh the options more carefully than usual. My first concern must be my own safety regardless of what anyone else is doing. I need to balance my daring and passion with thought and wisdom. I need to slow down and be sure my next step is on safe ground.
© 2014 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5