Ebb and Flow

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 30, 1999

DEBORAH CORRAO / L’Observateur / August 30, 1999

One of the rewards of getting older, I’ve found, is that I don’t seem to come unglued when faced with one of life’s little surprises. As a matterof fact, I’ve come to accept that there’s always going to be a fork in the road as we travel our paths, if not a pit of quicksand.

Not all of life’s surprises are bad. Some of them are quite nice. Some aremerely inconveniences. But, every now and then, we’re hit with one thatturns our lives upside down and inside out.

As a teen-ager I probably never would have envisioned the twists and turns in life that have taken me to where I am today. I’m still a work inprogress, of course, just like the rest of you with no idea what the finished work will be.

It took lots of practice, but I’ve also quit defining myself by what I do for a living, or who my parents are, or who my children or friends are. I’veeven learned that, as the old saying goes, God doesn’t close a door without opening a window.

How many of us still have the same dreams we had as youngsters? If we did, we’d all be firemen or policemen or rock stars. It’s not that wesuddenly shift gears and do an about-face. Time, like endless waves alongthe seashore, weathers us and molds us into what we are.

Sometimes it is one of life’s little surprises that changes our lives without us even realizing it.

Right now my life is in one of those chaotic states we all get into every now and then – times when it seems we have so much to do and so little time to do it, times where we run from one appointment or obligation to the next, coming up for air long enough to realize that weeks and even months have passed.

In other words, life has dealt me a lot of surprises in the last year or so – some of them good, some of them not-so-good. I try to affirm that it’s notthe hand life deals you but how you play it.

Like I said at the beginning of this column, I’m a lot calmer at handling those challenges now, realizing that this, too, shall pass.

And, in the midst of chaos, something nice happens – a compliment from a friend, a hug from a child, a book or poem that inspires us to keep going.

I don’t take those nice things for granted anymore.

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