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June Musing from Rebecca Crichton: We Never Know

I have a new used car I’m naming Kona Blue. (I’ve chosen the background color of our e-bulletin this month in her honor.) I have her because my former unnamed but well-used car succumbed to a front bumper collision from which the other driver and I stepped out of our damaged vehicles and confirmed we were both unharmed. 

While not on my schedule for the day – it was my daughter’s 50th birthday! – it became the prime focus.

I am still surprised when events yank me from my routine thinking and activities and force me to reprioritize. It happens in ways that range from the insignificant – No milk for my coffee! Dinner plans changed due to Covid – to a friend’s death.

I often tell older audiences about three attributes needed to deal with life’s challenges: Adaptability, Flexibility and Resilience. We need to use them when confronted with change or information requiring new behaviors.
 
June’s essay – Good Enough – addresses the ways we assess our lives and each other. We might be unconscious about the default stories operating below the surface. We might not even recognize them until something happens that forces us away from binary either/or conclusions. I like remembering this Taoist story:
 
There was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replied.
 
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed. “Maybe,” replied the old man.
 
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer.
 
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.
 
I am good at reframing and re-centering myself in the face of reality. I have what a teacher once called a “non-anxious presence.” I manage crisis well, resetting my need to know what comes next and staying open to whatever the next steps will be.
 
I spent a few weeks obsessing about whether I need a car of my own or am willing to ride-share, rent a car, use a Zip Car. Finally, I decided I am not ready to give up the independence and convenience of a car of my own. I may be ready to do that in a few years. Time will tell.
 
My experience with Enterprise Car Sales was totally positive. Chanelle Winn-Fronda, the associate who helped me (let me know if you want her contact info!), knows her cars and how to work with a range of customers. I never even knew Hyundai Konas existed. Now I am delighted by the ease and sense of safety I feel in my ‘new’ car.
 
Our event with Pamela Belyea at Town Hall on June 17 — Living with Loss: Grieving, Healing and Connecting — will invite audience participation and offer free books related to grief. It is our last collaboration of the season. We hope to resume in September with a new roster of programs of interest to our aging population.
 
My recent experience reminds me not to take things for granted yet still proceed with normal planning. It is a lifelong practice that we keep learning, like it or not! 

Rebecca

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 NWCCA’s Collaboration with Seattle’s Town Hall

Living with Loss: Grieving, Healing and Connecting
with Pamela Belyea, founder, Griever’s Library
Monday, June 17, 7:30 PM, Wyncote NW Forum
1119 8th Ave. (entrance off Seneca St.), Seattle

$5 – $25 sliding scale

This talk is intended for any bereaved person seeking a deeper understanding of the unfamiliar terrain of the grief journey. Pamela Belyea explains the intersecting circles of grieving, healing, and connecting with your loved one and provides examples of fruitful projects that have grown from the “compost pile” of grief.  Belyea includes salient quotes from insightful grief books which will be available as gifts to the audience members.

Click here for more details and ticket info.

Food and Finality
Discussions facilitated by Rebecca Crichton around death and dying, grief and loss, discussions that honor and acknowledge the discomfort, judgments, confusion and other emotions that these topics can engender.
Rebecca creates and holds the space with the intention that everybody is included and feels safe.
Click here to learn more