When dumb luck strikes ...

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LIVING - Donna Debs Up­side Down Donna Debs is a long­time free­lance writer, a former ra­dio news re­porter, and a cer­ti­fied Iyen­gar yoga teacher. She lives in Tredyf­frin. Email her at debbs@com­cast. net.

At a stressed-out mo­ment . . . A self-pro­claimed good Sa­mar­i­tan leaned into my space, craned her neck in my di­rec­tion and said, “This gives you an op­por­tu­nity to slow down.”

She was talk­ing about the fact I‘d left my wal­let at home and would need to drive a half-hour back to get it be­fore con­tin­u­ing on my er­rands. She said it could be a good thing.

That’s like say­ing get­ting sick gives you a chance to get well, or be­ing mis­er­able gives you a chance to get happy, or fail­ing gives you a chance to suc­ceed. I don’t know how many of us would choose that path over a straight shot to fame, glory and eter­nal sal­va­tion.

I won­der what she’d say now that I’ve sprained my wrist and have a brace on my arm. Lucky you! The sprain oc­curred af­ter a lovely week­end wed­ding wear­ing spike heels, danc­ing on a slip­pery floor, walk­ing through crowded Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and gen­er­ally feel­ing bouncy. Leav­ing the ho­tel, af­ter three days of frolic, I tripped over my suit­case. Plain and sim­ple. And dumb. Or lucky? I started think­ing of all the other for­tu­itous things that hap­pened in the past that gave me lots of other fun op­por­tu­ni­ties to slow down. Great mem­o­ries like break­ing my an­kle for no good rea­son or show­ing up at an in­ter­na­tional air­port with­out a pass­port or my car break­ing down, twice, on the Schuylkill Ex­press­way. One for­tu­nate event af­ter an­other. I started think­ing of more ways I could have more screw-ups be­cause maybe these fast-paced times need ex­tra mishaps and blun­ders giv­ing us more op­por­tu­ni­ties to break free from the cul­tural norm of go­ing full-speed ahead with­out thought or rea­son or even joy just to keep up and not nec­es­sar­ily even get what we want.

I started ex­pand­ing out­ward, not just dwelling on my own lit­tle mess of mir­a­cles but on the loads of won­der­ful chances we all have to wind down when forced to spend hours on the phone with rot­ten cus­tomer ser­vice agents, sit stranded in traf­fic de­tours, man­age gro­cery bags that tear apart on the way to the car, plead with com­put­ers that suck doc­u­ments in the mid­dle of a dead­line be­cause, well, just be­cause they can.

Adorable, wel­comed strokes of luck to help us en­joy and re­lax ev­ery­where we turn.

With my wrist look­ing like a crum­bling build­ing with scaf­fold­ing, I was hav­ing so much good for­tune I wanted to take the whole coun­try down the same un­ex­pect­edly hope­ful road — es­pe­cially that woman who threw a curse on me. I wanted ev­ery­one to have the chance to truly smell the cof­fee, take long, deep breaths, lounge in the back­yard with crum­pets, and fi­nally find the time to go through old boxes of scin­til­lat­ing fam­ily pho­tos.

Ex­cept if you have a slow-down curse and a splint on your arm, you can’t do much with these mag­i­cal mo­ments but watch the leaves fall from the trees. You can’t even scoop them up. For at least 6 weeks or 6 months, de­pend­ing. How jeal­ous I’m mak­ing you! Decades ago, Win­ston Churchill said, “A pes­simist sees the dif­fi­culty in ev­ery op­por­tu­nity; an op­ti­mist sees the op­por­tu­nity in ev­ery dif­fi­culty.” Which I guess means we should ap­plaud ev­ery stroke of luck, no mat­ter how an­noy­ing, pa­thetic, fret­ful or down­right mo­ronic.

How slow can you go . . .

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.