Go With The Flow

Have you looked at the underside of your elbow lately? You might want to have a look, because the other day I noticed a thing there. And the next day the thing was bigger. Of course I was leaving town in two days and I pictured the thing growing to the size of a watermelon, and then exploding in public. I’ll call Dr. Forest, I thought to myself, and make an appointment for tomorrow. He can poke the thing, get the stuff out and wrap me up in no time (hope you are following all that medical jargon). Unfortunately, Dr. Forest was not available So, I proceeded to self-diagnose (thanks to my friends at Google) bursitis on the underside of my elbow. Doesn’t look like I’ll need to amputate, but chances are I’ll favor my elbow for the rest of my life.

Great. That’s just lovely. The thing is here to stay.

Then while I was out of town my husband emailed me that he and Sophie the beagle were enjoying the Wendy’s dollar menu. For three days they enjoyed the Wendy’s dollar menu. “You mean Sophie got to lick the wrappers?” I asked, to which he replied, as if it were perfectly normal, “Well, no. We were out of dog food and we both went to the drive through window for dinner.” For three days.

Great. That’s just lovely. The dog who is allergic to beef (imagine!) is going to be an itchy, scratching mess by the time I get home.

Unpleasant, unexpected events can make me feel annoyed. Correction- I choose to respond with annoyance. As if any one of them would be the end of the world as we know it…. The dog eats a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. (For three days). But still, I have to choose my reaction.

I love this little line by John O’Donohue, the Celtic philosopher and poet:

I would love to live like a river flows,

carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.

He added the title Fluent to that a little line. Fluent, as in easy, graceful, or smooth. I would love to live an easy, graceful life, too. I would love to be delighted at the unfolding of my day, graciously accepting what comes my way. It’s my choice to go with the flow or not. So tell me, how do you make those choices? How do you live a gracious life?