Way back in high school I remember taking an aptitude test to help determine my direction in life. Among other things it got wrong was saying that I have a strength in Math and possible career paths could include mathematician or scientist. It is quite amazing that the part of me that gave the opinions of others more credence than my own did not follow through on this advice. I do remember seriously considering being a Math major – for a minute – and then settled on Children’s Literature, a far more interesting thing to me. It wasn’t that I was bad at math – obviously not – but what I liked about math was the puzzle part of it. I adored Geometry and hated Algebra. I loved trying to figure out something. I also really loved the if/then logic of it. It helped to unravel mysteries.
I realize now that there may be something in the pronouncements by my math teachers who said “you will use this for the rest of your life”. I also now see that the awareness that is necessary – the ability to see the patterns and connections – really does make life a whole lot more interesting, and a bit more understandable.
The other day I shared this on Facebook:
A case of Bad News/Good News and how the Universe works in mysterious ways:
Bad news: This week I got the news I was sadly expecting: my postponed trip to Paris was officially cancelled when the airline notified me that they will no longer fly that route.
Good news: I got a full refund of $580.
Ranger got neutered this week.
Bad news: the bill was $574.
Good news: see above. I now have an extra $6!!!
BTW, I got the dog on the day I was supposed to go to Paris.
So, here’s the thing: If I looked at each of those situations separately, there is no way I would have seen any correlation. Having them happen within a day of each other kept the memory alive and made it easier to see the connection. And it got me to wondering: what else in life is connected…and we don’t even notice it. Every day there are a slew of if/then instances happening behind the scenes in our life, some more obvious than others. How would your perspective on life change if you saw them?
Let’s take 2020, for instance. It’s one big mess of frustration and misunderstandings. Or is it? Early in the year I had the most exciting year planned: lots of travel, an uptick in speaking gigs, and the sneaking suspicion I would be a grandmother again before the year was out. Of course, we know what happened in March. In early April my dad got sick and went into the hospital and never left. So where is the connection there? Well, had this happened during “normal” times, I would have been able to be there at the end, but I would have then very quickly gotten busy again. Anything to put that pain out of mind. But 2020 wasn’t having that. This was the year when I had nothing but time to allow those feelings to come up and be felt and gracefully release in their own time.
My “hunch” about being a grandmother proved correct and my beautiful twin granddaughters were born in October. Twins. My Dad had been a twin. My son is named for him. I feel like it was his “parting gift”. And while I suffered great angst about how to get down there for the birth, the path was cleared, all in perfect time. My daughter moved to a bigger apartment and could watch my dog. The COVID numbers were down for a couple weeks, and my schedule aligned perfectly. It was all connected, and it was all perfect.
I read a great quote today about your choice in life: either keeping score of what has been achieved and what has not…or feeling anticipation about what is to come. I’ll add another piece to that: find the invisible thread that ties it all up in a bow.
Life is not a random set of events – it’s an adventure to be explored and a puzzle to solve. May the pieces of your life bring you insights, comfort and much joy!