So this happened...
Number 1: A couple of days ago, a friend asked me, “Any new blogs percolating?” My mind was blank. My muse the crow wasn’t poking me. Nope.
Number 2: Yesterday, the mail delivered a newsletter for us old retired folks that featured the theme “Around the Corner,” based on a quote by Cher: “If you can’t go straight ahead, you go around the corner.” Interesting concept, I thought. What’s around the next corner? The crow began stirring.
Number 3: Today I opened my Facebook page and the first thing I saw was this quote:
Well. It just so happened that yesterday was also the day of “Mystics and the Mundane,” a course I’m taking via ZOOM. “Synchronicity,” said the teacher, “is the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear related but have no discernible connection. Pay attention when that happens. Maybe there’s a message for you in it.”
The crow squawks. A new blog is percolating, after all. But what is that message?
I think when I was younger, “around the next corner” held great appeal. Whatever was around the next corner, it was probably going to be good. It smelled of adventure, new opportunities, learning experiences, striking out into the unknown. Around the next corner meant I’d leave home and go to college, that I’d get my own apartment, my first car, my first job; I would become a wife and mother. Yahoo, bring it on, world!
The quotes I research are almost all in that vein: “your breakthrough is around the corner ... prosperity is around the corner ... romance ... better things ... success ... a brighter day. The sun is always shining around the corner.”
Well, I grew up. I found out that leaving home and going to college had its drawbacks. And true romance was not just around the corner – there were disappointments before I found the one for me. There were days, weeks, months when raising children, blessings that they are, was a tough go. Learning experiences weren’t just “aha” moments; they included many hard lessons that hurt. People you loved turned a corner and were gone, leaving you alone and mourning. I learned – and you probably have too – that there is no “straight ahead” in life, you will always be turning a corner into the unknown, and while that unknown will have wonderful times, it could also be scary, sad, and difficult.
So, what to do about those corners?
I suppose, the smaller you make your life, the less corners there are to navigate. If you do the same thing over and over, the track you’re walking on will have a nice deep rut that keeps you safe – but it could be disastrous when you hit the dead end and can’t find your way out. Or, you could put on your body armour of cynicism and pessimism so that the "slings and arrows" that life sends your way don’t hurt so much. Less pain, but also less delight. You could put on blinders and earbuds, so you don’t have to see or hear the bad, hard stuff that surrounds you. But life as Pollyanna in Lala land is kind of lonely, isn’t it? You could focus only on the positive things in your life, turning every disaster into a moral lesson – there’s value in that, but honestly? You will likely be watching your friends’ eyes glaze over as you drone on about your lofty views. "Get real," they may say.
This week, the resident sweetie and I have been talking about turning a new corner sometime in the future when we transition to a less independent life. Friends of ours, just 5 years older than us, who are decluttering their home before moving to a smaller place that offers assisted living, told us, “Don’t put this off too long! It’s so stressful!” I can empathize as I picture cleaning out my studio, handing over my significant stash of sewing supplies to Sally Ann. Tears will fall, I'm sure. We look at our beloved home and yard, the trailer that’s given us years of camping enjoyment, the traveling vacations exploring the world, and we know we too will be sad when we turn that corner and leave these riches behind.
And yet, we trust also that there will be new adventures that await us, if we but look for them. Hopefully, there will be new riches, new experiences to add to our life story. Could that be the message, the secret to successfully navigating the corners in life?
And in the meantime: