When the pandemic hit and the world closed down, I will admit that I enjoyed it for a while. No, not the fear, panic and suffering, but I enjoyed being home with my family, doing stuff together, and feeling as safe as was possible in our little home base.
Flash forward a month or so, and I started feeling a little restless. I decided I needed a goal, so I figured I would learn to juggle. I had tried it in the past and had given up, so I didn’t imagine I would be successful this time either. But I had time on my side - literally.
After mastering the art of juggling, I figured it was time to set a new goal. Since my first foray seemed to be circus-oriented, I decided I would stick with it. A split was next on the list. I had taken dance lessons when I was young and had gotten really close to a complete split. Since I had been taking yoga for a while at this point, it might still be a longshot, but I went for it.
I very quickly realized however, that I don’t have that level of flexibility. So I gave up.
This summer my work schedule precluded my going to yoga at all. Until today! I went back for the first time in 3 months. I creaked and cracked and groaned the whole time. Whatever my flexibility was before, it is certainly less now.
It reminded me of when Paul and I moved into our first home. It was a gorgeous little cedar-sided house nestled into the middle of 1 ½ acres of towering pine trees. The trees were relatively thin, and we would get very nervous when high winds came. Then someone told us those trees would bend and sway, but because they could bend they would seldom break. And it was true. Sometimes they bent so much it looked like they were going to touch the ground. But when the storm was over and the sun came back out, they would straighten right up.
Isn't that the opposite of the way we operate? We get rigid. We want things done our way, on our time table. I’ve heard people say, “It’s my way or the highway.” And while it’s a very catchy phrase, and it sounds authoritative and commanding, I can’t help but wonder what happens when there is no flexibility.
Just as flexibility is a good trait to have physically, it’s also a good personality trait. If we aren’t able to bend, do we break? Do our friendships and relationships break and suffer? We can’t and shouldn’t give in to everything but neither should we demand everything be done our way alone. What’s the solution? As Bob Dylan said, “the answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind.”