flexibility and little adventures

“What is that smell?”

Four heads turn away from language lessons to look at Amy reaching under the table. The faint smell of melting plastic is drawn to my attention as Amy pulls the power strip out from under the table. A glance at the smoldering wires suspended from her fingertips confirms that the power cord for Jaree’s laptop was burning. We were a bit shocked and relieved as Amy pulled the cord from the strip and tossed it into the living room. Turning back to our instructor with a murmured “maaf” (I’m sorry), our language lesson continues…

Jaree’s most unfortunate cord…

I cannot tell you haw many times that I have been advised, “Flexibility is the key to a successful internship.” It’s true. We make a grave mistake when we are unwilling to embrace change, growth. We miss opportunities to learn when we are held back by our disappointment. The joy and wonder fade when we allow ourselves to become embittered by unmet expectations.

But I’m not really thinking about the overarching theme of internship right now. I’m thinking of yesterday… and the distractions, interruptions and sudden changes that are part of everyday life. When the phone rings, when the batteries in my alarm clock die and of course, when someone takes too long in the bathroom. I have often been tempted to see them as parentheses or “time outs” in the course of my day. Yet these are the moments when flexibility is needed most.

My unwillingness to take life as it comes is the greatest joy-stealer and strength-robber. The ability to laugh over spilled milk (or rice) and laundry left out in the rain is desperately needed here. I’m learning more and more about letting go and allowing life to happen. Enjoying when and how it happens. Instead of looking at the interruptions as trials, I’m trying to see them as little adventures. After all, it’s not everyday you melt a teakettle or catch a bird stealing candy from your purse (I just caught one trying to take my Mentos)! Those interruptions and distractions which have the potential to cause distress within me now work to bring me joy.

Our teakettle… another accident.

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