Friday, August 28, 2009

Because That is How the Universe Works

Sometimes, you write a long and well thought out comment on a friend's blog, and when you hit "send" you receive an error message and it all goes away. And you didn't save it, or ctrl-c it, or anything. Sometimes, you shave your legs and get a pedicure, and wake up with a big ole pimple on your face. Sometimes, things don't go exactly the way you planned (who am I kidding? When do things EVER go exactly the way you planned?), and you just have to figure out a way to make it work. (PS - how do you make a bright red, painful pimple go away in 6 hours when you are at work and then getting on a plane? Thanks.) - This is just how the universe works. It is not perfect, and things will always seem to go wrong just when you were hoping they would all go right.

Which brings me to my Life Motto: You just have to do the best you can with what you've got.

It's a little wordy, but it's what I believe.

I am a planner. I organize for fun. I like me a good schedule, and I LOVE a To-Do list. But I have also learned that it is important to be flexible - to adapt to changing situations quickly and effectively. I think this is something I picked up with all those years in theatre, because lordy lordy do you have to be flexible working in theatre. When I interviewed at Twitter, I had a really great conversation with founder Biz Stone about how he truly valued people with theatre degrees, because he thinks that people who have spent time working in theatre are the best combination of being prepared and adaptable. My first thought was "Finally! Someone outside of the theatre world who values my degree!" but my second thought was that he is so very right. That's not to say that you can't get these experiences or this kind of training outside of theatre, but I think that people who have studied and worked in theatre truly understand what it means to be prepared. The skills we learned in dealing with ripped seams and sore throats translate very easily to problems with PowerPoint presentations and cross-country meeting scheduling. And just about anything, really.

It's about putting out fires, and if you're good (and lucky), you can put them out before they start. That has been my job at a lot of different places (and would have been my job at many of the places I interviewed), and I think most people would say that those are their jobs (their lives) as well. We all have to do it, and I don't really know where I'm going with this anymore, except that I am glad I can adapt. Even if I don't always like it.

Also...lately, I have been actively working on spontanaity. I think that's the next step up from flexibility, right? Ok, I know how to make a plan and adapt if it changes (ps - let's find another word for flexible and adapt, please!). What I am not so good at is jumping on plans all spur of the moment-like.

I fantasize about taking a trip on a whim, or even just going out for the evening without planning in advance...and I am forcing myself to stop with the planning already! This summer, with Will off in the woods, and my life all to myself, I decided to do just that. I didn't make plans, knowing that if none came about, I could spend the night reading by myself and being perfectly content. Or taking a bath. Wow, I forgot how luxurious it feels to just take a bath! If a friend called and said "Hey, let's get together tonight!" I (most of the time) said yes. It has been a great learning experience for me, honestly. Teaching myself to call a friend on my way home from work to see if she wanted to come over for dinner and a movie...but also learning how to tuck myself away for the night and turn down plans if I just don't feel up to it.

It's nice. I am digging this new spontaneity-appreciating side of myself, and I want her to come out and play more often!

This post is all over the place because OMG I AM GETTING ON A PLANE IN LESS THAN 5 HOURS. And also because yeah, that thing about the pimple? Seriously, help. Ouch.


  1. Kim, we are twins. I mean it. I do the EXACT SAME THING with the over-planning and forgetting to just let life happen, and I honestly believe all the crazy things that happen (near-death on a mountain, anyway) are there to help me change.

    Can't wait to hear more about where you're going (or have gone to by now?) when you return. Good luck with the pimple - I wish I knew how to help!

  2. benadryl (or any other diphenhydramine-containing topical cream or solution) will reduce the redness and inflammation, which is responsible for the pain. as someone who's been consistently broken out since she was 12, i can honestly say its about the only thing that helps. It'll also suppress the itching.

  3. Thanks, Kristen. I have been using a clearasil benzoil peroxide thing a few times a day, which...sort of works. Of course, the fact that I can't stop picking at it (I know, mom, I shouldn't do that) doesn't help. And oh yeah, a 2nd pimple is forming right next to it! One of those under-the-skin painful ones...Oh well. Will makes fun of me for it, but he doesn't mind. :)

    And Shanna, I think the day we finally meet in person (which I'm sure will happen someday), the universe might just implode. Olympia is lovely so far - I ate a delicious crab cake at the farmers market this morning, the sun just came out, and we're going hiking at Mt. Rainier tomorrow!

    I will be posting pictures next week...

  4. I also love lists and organizing, am great at being flexible when plans change (most of the time) and I am terrible at being spontaneous. In fact? Spontaneity makes me angry. People try to get spontaneous with me and I feel threatened. This is one of the aspects of my personality that makes me question my mental health. That and the painful scratching I feel in my brain when my floors are dirty.

  5. Yes, I am trying to embrace spontaneity as an exciting opportunity rather than a threat to my perfectly organized world :-)