On Saturday at 2 a.m. my power went out because a car ran into a utility pole, which affected not only me, but approximately 900 other people. The power wasn’t restored until about 2 a.m. on Sunday morning and that meant all my plans for Saturday – doing laundry, roasting vegetables, heck, even blending a smoothie – were scuppered. What I had planned didn’t matter anymore because circumstances wouldn’t allow for it. I’m sharing this because not only was my Saturday unexpected, but my whole week. All week I ran into one mishap and miscommunication after another.
Life is like that sometimes. After all, that’s why we have the joke, “How do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans.” How often does life turn out how we intended? Not only the broad picture, but also the day to day? And how do you react when things don’t go your way? I’m doing my best to handle changes with grace and aplomb instead of throwing a fit like a small child (even though a part of me also wants to throw a fit). I feel my feelings, but I also give in to the moment.
For instance, on Saturday, I could have worked around the lack of electricity by going to a friend’s house with laundry in tow and vegetables in hand. I could have kept my Saturday plans more or less but instead I surrendered to the day, meaning I didn’t fight the power outage. I gave into it by napping and using my gas stove to cook other things.
My experience this week relates to my last post on moving with trust because when life throws me a curveball, it doesn’t have to unnerve me and instead I can adapt. I can’t help but think the universe is training me, working out my adaptability muscle, because as I look around, adaptability seems to be the order of the day. A city in China received nearly a year’s worth of rain in just three days, displacing around one million people. Also this month, Germany experienced severe flooding, and in the U.S., the Bootleg fire in Oregon is creating its own weather.
Marcus Kauffman, a spokesman for the state forestry department, said in the NY Times, “The fire is so large and generating so much energy and extreme heat that it’s changing the weather. Normally the weather predicts what the fire will do. In this case, the fire is predicting what the weather will do.”
The weather is changing, our climate is changing, and we human beings must also change. We must adapt to reality and accept the degree of chaos and uncertainty that comes with being alive at this moment, otherwise we’re in trouble. Part of the adaptability is preparing for what could be coming. In my case, I have a solar power bank to charge my cellphone and other small devices so I didn’t worry about my cellphone dying, nor did I have to scramble for a public outlet. I also have a solar-powered light cube and candles so I didn’t brush my teeth in the dark.
Do you have things like that? Are you prepared for an earthquake, fire, flood, tornado, or blizzard? Depending on where you live, one or more of those things will happen. Natural disasters are no longer rare events and instead becoming commonplace. Record-breaking storms, fires, etc. are happening every year. Each year we’re beating a new record in a bad way. It’s scary and uncomfortable but it’s also reality. And we can either fight reality, curse our circumstances, or we can adapt and prepare. In doing so, we might find we are more flexible than we realized.
I dream of a world where we practice adaptability. A world where we expect the expected. A world where we prepare for what’s ahead because we know it’s coming sooner or later. A world where we understand the world is changing and so must we.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.