Friday, August 27, 2010

Fortyness: Smooshed Boobs, Aristotle, and Dead Batteries

Did this spark your interest?

I hope it has.

I meet my day with a fresh cup of coffee, a generally positive disposition (that coffee consumption), and with the determination to face my errands and duties that lie ahead. Most days the routines and responsibilities are pretty similar. I do my workout, make sure the kids are up and get out the door for school, take care of whatever household business needs to be taken care of, and finish out the rest of the day on auto-pilot as I take care of typical family and domestic necessities. This is the general expected norm in the life of many moms (or dads as the case may be), at least as it pertains to home life. However, every once in a while, the universe has a way of throwing in events and responsibilities that seem to have no connection to the flow of my life, ones that when looked at together make me stand back and go.... Huh?

Today was one of those days. All before 11am, my generally routine day turned into a day of smooshed boobs, Aristotle, and dead batteries.

It started out as I had mentioned above with my coffee and sunny disposition. I guess you could say that I had my workout too...... I had my annual mammogram. If you have had one (and most of you who are reading this should have already had one or are about the age when you should have one!) you know that the contraption used is an exercise in flexibility to get the right "pose", stamina while you hold your breath as the technician runs back to the machine to press the button, and endurance of the discomfort associated with having parts of your anatomy smooshed between two cold plates to get just the right shot.

From my photo shoot, my day headed in a different direction to a time before mammograms as I moved on to the engaging words of Aristotle's Poetics and Rhetoric, an assignment from one of my school courses. I found a spot at my favorite coffee spot, and I marveled at his thought provoking words on virtue, communication and friendship, almost as much as I marveled over my ability to understand what he was actually saying. I felt cultured and even a bit scholarly as I considered the relevance of his words written 2000 years ago. But, alas, my stay in Ancient Greece was short as I had to take care of other duties of the day. I took the reigns of my modern day chariot - my big green SUV, and headed off to the west.

In my westward excursion, I quickly took care of some school business and headed out to my car to head home. I hit the unlock button on the key fob, hopped into the driver's seat, turned the key and.... nothing. Nada. Zilch. Not even a hint of a turnover was my car going to satisfy me with. The battery was dead, leaving me stranded in the Arizona summer heat. After a few phone calls, forty minutes, and about a gallon of sweat, the knight in the white truck (the Auto club guy) came to my rescue and sent me on my way home.

OK.... so what does this have to do with Fortyness?

In fortyness, we want to make sense out of life. We want routine, ease, and no surprises. We want to grow and understand who we are but we want it in a safe, predictable and comfortable environment. What the happenings of today reminded me of is that in this season of life, Fortyness, we can't depend on predictability and routine. Things are going to stretch and cause discomfort to our bodies, minds and patience. Everything that happens in this season doesn't always mesh up with what we want to be happening, and that's ok. The veering from the norm can be tough, but it can also be good.

Smooshed boobs, Aristotle, and dead batteries turned off my auto pilot switch. These three experiences didn't fit into my normal routine, nor did they seem to make any sense at all when I looked at them together. In fact, I did utter an audible "Huh?" They tested my body, my mind and my patience. But, they caused good. The discomfort I felt in the mammogram will help to ensure my future health. The words of Aristotle stimulate my mind and thoughts, and help me to understand people. The dead battery, well...the tow truck guy was really really nice. When taken all together, today's happenings help me to see the value in being flexible and open to change an unpredictability. That willingness to break from routine and what is expected will help me to weather another day in the life in the midst of Fortyness.