Monday, April 11, 2011

Dust yourself off

Just read an article by Mark Lachs from NPR, posted by Don Mabry on Facebook. Thanks, Don. His subject is how people live to be 100. He calls the secret "adaptive competence." That $50 phrase almost stopped me from reading it. However, now I can tie that title to one of my recurring thoughts along that line. Just another way of saying to dance with the one who brung you, or play the cards you're dealt. That doesn't mean lowering your expectations. It means, simply, deal with it.

I once worked with a secretary who seemed to be as pleasant as you'd ever want. However, scratch the surface and you found a miserable, angry, woman She kept an index card file on her desk. She made notes about every real or perceived slight, insult, or bad thing that came along, and filed them alphabetically by the name of the offending person. She explained it to me one day,  and I asked her why she saved them. She looked amazed that I didn't understand that she didn't want to forget one. It made me shudder.

If you plan on living to be 100, as I do, you sure don't want all that baggage. After a few decades, you could have a lot of it. If you expect perfection in friends, success, skills, children, pets, cars, or the weather, then life is just one disappointment after another. Who would want to live so long with so much misery? No, life is not fair. Some people seem to catch all the breaks. The good die young. Crime does pay, sometimes. Get over it.

Adaptive competence is just a fancy term best said in an old song: "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again."