A number of years ago, at a Commencement Address, the speaker said:
“Put yourself in the path of lightning.”
“Wow!” I thought.
And, wrote down what she had said.
The truth is I didn’t really understand what she meant.
But it sure sounded important.
And something I should remember.
Which I have.
Now, the truth is, I am a creature of habit.
For better or worse, for many years those everyday routines helped me keep track of the things I was supposed to do and to get done what I needed to get done. Now that I am retired one of the hardest adjustments is no longer having those routines.
Or, any routine.
Which brings me to something I heard last week.
And to the Commencement quote from a number of years ago.
She was speaking about change.
About risking transformation.
About intentionally putting yourself in situations which open you up to new understandings and new insights and new possibilities. And, that when you do that some part of your life has the possibility of a fundamental shift. In other words, put yourself in the path of lightning. Risk being shocked and jolted out of the familiar and comfortable and towards something new.
I blame it, at least in part, on it being a long winter where we now live.
It snowed the first week in November and has snowed and been cold ever since. It has been easy to “hibernate” both in ways that have been helpful and restful, but also in ways I have used to avoid the lightning. It is unsettling to let go of that routine which sustained me for so long and to risk what is unknown in front of me.
Put yourself in the path of lightning.
All these years later I hear those words again.
And am finally beginning to understand.
I can continue to play it safe.
To hibernate even as spring approaches.
Or, I can risk the lightning.