Life hasn’t been going so swimmingly lately, so I’ve been thinking a lot about resilience, the ability to adapt to life’s challenges. I even did a little reading about the characteristics of resilient people and how to improve your resilience, and decided that I needed to develop my resiliency skills. I made myself some “resiliency reminder” flash cards by painting a largish piece of paper with watercolors on both sides, cutting it up into little cards, and writing the different ideas and qualities I wanted to remember about being resilient on each card.
The next day, I picked a card and attached it to a little metal frame with a magnet so that I would remember to think about it all day. I set it on my bed stand so it would be the last thing I would see when I went to bed at night. The other little cards sat in a pretty pottery dish waiting to be picked the next day.
Oh, did I feel virtuous and self-aware.
Until six hours later when the pile of books on my bed stand fell over and hit a glass of water which spilled into the little pottery dish full of cards before shattering all over the floor. All of the cards in the dish melted together into a mushy watercolor mess. Only the card that I’d picked that morning survived: “Setbacks are a part of life.”
I was not happy. I was not resilient. I was pissed and bummed and sad as I searched on my hands and knees for all of the broken glass pieces, mopped up the water with a soggy hand towel, and tossed my ruined cards in the trash. I was a real pleasure to be around.
But this morning, as I looked at the lone card on my bed stand, I had to laugh.
I guess I really only needed one flash card.
There’s only one thing I need to learn.
Setbacks are a part of life.