Sunday, May 25, 2008

Oh, the places you'll go!

A couple years ago when my daughter graduated from college, my sister gave her the Dr. Seuss book, Oh, The Places You'll Go.

In typical Dr. Seuss style it talks about the adventure point of launching out on your own. There will be times of flying high and times where life becomes a challenge. But through it all there is the affirmation that you can live a life of success and significance.

Some friends of ours are in Bangkok, Thailand for the next 4-8 weeks to assist with the coordination of transporting relief supplies to Myanmar. Being empty nesters and in job transitions themselves, they decided to take on the challenge of living and working for a period of time in less than comfortable conditions knowing they are being of help to people in need. Transitions are never very easy. They always seem to take us out of something we've become used to (whether good or bad) and force us to grasp tightly to the learning curve set before us. This couple is referring to this as "an adventure outside their comfort zone." They are not afraid of wrestling with change and refuse to let fear trap them in a rut.

What places could you go if you are willing to step outside your comfort zone?

As Dr. Seuss would say....."Your mountain is waiting so get on your way."*

Oh, The Places You'll Go." by Theodore Seuss Geisel, Random House, 1990.
Photo: Dace Pjanova/

Friday, May 16, 2008

Adventures in the kitchen with a rapidly aging baby-boomer

I had a "first" at breakfast this morning. I was at the stove tending my eggs, and after placing the finished work of art on a plate, I left the skillet and spatula on the stove and neglected to turn off the gas burner underneath the pan. I took my eggs and tea upstairs so I could enjoy breakfast in bed while I checked my e-mails. My daughter-in-law, Erin, (she and our son are staying with us in between "moves") found the outcome about 30 minutes later. I now have a pan with a spatula molded firmly in place creating a puddle of melted plastic in the center of the pan and the addition of another handle attached to the side of the pan.

My reaction to this incident? Well, I have many choices. Here are some of them:

  • Deny I did it
  • Blame it on something
  • Resolve never to take a sleeping pill again (I do, on occasion, and did so last night)
  • Fear the future
  • Trade making hot breakfasts for milk and cereal
  • Have a post-midlife crisis
  • Cook with a "buddy"
  • Eat only in the kitchen with the hope that I'd discover the problem sooner.
  • Set a timer when I turn on a burner so I'm reminded to turn it off when I'm done cooking
  • Go on a cruise
  • Have a pity party

I've already eliminated denial, the pity party and fear of the future.

My siblings and I are very familiar with Alzheimer's Disease. We buried Dad almost three years ago after his journey of several years living with this illness. We lament now and then about our spotty memories and how we're concerned we might be following in his footsteps.

My pastor, Tom Stephen, and his wife, Ginny, have written a book entitled, "Fearless." It's about different types of fear and how God is with us and speaks to us in the midst of our fears. He says: "People often stress out over a situation before they have an actual problem. Most of us have a tendency to cultivate fear by worrying about what could happen instead of confronting the actual problem. "* I know God is very active and present in my life so I don't have to be captive to fear. However, that doesn't excuse me from being smart about my choices and facing truth.

In the meantime, I'll be cooking eggs again a new skillet, of course.

*Fearless, by Tom Stephen & Ginny Starkey, Regal Books, Ventura, CA, 2006.

© Ed Isaacs |