Meaningful, Mundane, and Murky
I landed on the title of this post last week, the day we learned that the cliff-hanging results of the runoff elections in Georgia for the US Senate returned the Senate to a semblance of balance and power in a democracy, and the current can’t-be-too-soon outgoing president of United States brought disgrace to himself and the country as he incited a violent storming of the US Capitol that made headlines around the world and brought chagrin to an already weary people.
Remembering once again that the Chinese character for crisis is actually two characters: one of danger, the other of opportunity.
Finding meaning, finding opportunity in the dangers and miserable murky messiness of life is as important as finding it in the mundane, as important as finding it in the truly meaningful.
I had begun planning for the launch in January 2021 of my new online course on Transforming Any Adversity into Learning and Growth: Cultivating a Resilience Mindset way back in early November 2020, after the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris did promise something substantial for the recovery of our democracy and new vaccines promised hope for containing, if not reversing, the coronavirus pandemic.
While ideas were percolating about moving from heartache to hope, the actual release of the course has been delayed until February 4 by my fracturing my shoulder December 1 and diverting my focus from the very meaningful to the very mundane. Instead of my usual morning exercise, walking 2 miles on the ridge trail near my house to cope with the shutdown of the pandemic, I was now circling the kitchen-hallway-living room-dining room-kitchen-hallway-living room-dining room with my ice pack on my shoulder and elbow.
Everything slowed down. When I couldn’t open a new bottle of olive oil with one hand, my neighbor graciously came over with just the right tool. What might have taken me five seconds before it took five minutes now. (But it did get done!) Answering any email by dictating into my phone, emailing myself the message, and then transcribing it on the computer, could be done, was done many times to stay in touch with the world. Meaningful and mundane: what used to take 60 seconds could now take six minutes.
I’m grateful that I am otherwise healthy, grateful for my home, my neighbors, the return of energy. With each incremental step of healing, I feel like I’m progressing from learning to walk like a toddler does, stumbling but unstoppable, to trying out the scooter, to someday soon driving my beloved 15 year-old car that has been decorating my driveway for the last 6 weeks.
I love this line from Larry Robinson’s New Year’s Blessing posted last week:
Hope is a choice, not a feeling.
I know the role of hope-choice is key in developing a resilience mindset, personally and collectively. When I can type two-handed again, I’ll be able to share with you the new online course and the many lessons, even joys, of transforming adversity, personal or collective, into learning and growth.
In the meantime, a superb upcoming offering from poet/author Mark Nepo on Finding Inner Courage, an excellent resource for finding meaning in the mundane and murky.