Recently a tragic event happened to my niece and her family. Their house burned down. They are all fine, but they lost everything that was in their house. She encapsulated the event by telling me that she felt like a non-person. She said that a few days after the fire as she was in the hospital recovering from smoke inhalation she realized she had nothing to prove she was who she was. No pictures, no ID, no mementos from her past. She is a nurse and she was known around the hospital she works in by the outrageous scarves she wore. The fact was that she no longer even had her signature apparel. It too was stripped from her of her persona.
But here is the great thing about human nature, resiliency. In all the tragic events her family was going thru they found snippets of normalcy like…. Her co-workers, friends and her community rallied to get her family some necessities and clothes. Now know that she is over six feet tall. As she went through the wonderful donations she was trying to find pants to fit her and she did. But they were about eight inches too short. She sent a picture of herself in these short pants and said, “I think I need taller friends!”
Resiliency is a trait that is embedded. You fall down, you get up. You fall down again—you lay there thinking about how you are going to get up, but you get up. Or you have someone help you get up because you have nothing to grab onto to help you get up. (That needing extra help getting up conundrum happens as you gather years under your belt.) But human nature is to get up and get back on track and get going again.
Resiliency is a factor in everyday life. You lose money, be it the stock market or a bad loan to a friend or family member, and you go to work to make that money again. You lose more money in some silly way like the lure of the one armed bandits and you set your eyes on the prize of more money and you go to work to make it. Just take away this tidbit; if you ever loan money, to anyone, be sure you can afford to never see it again. That way if and when you do ever get it back it will be like getting a Christmas present that you were not expecting! So much easier on your psyche.
Resiliency is a pain in the back side of your front side. You lose a pet. A very special pet that you had for more years than you can remember. You say, “I will never have another one.” You might even say you are enjoying the non-pet freedom from that darn dog or cat or hamster, or fish, or iguana-well you get the idea. Yes tears are shed but then you realize, no more hair, or litter box, or feeding time, or need to have a sitter for your pet, or so many other needs to be met by that darn ole pet. Yes, that darn ole pet. That pet that licked your hand after you fed them. That pet that slept next to you in the hammock in the summertime. Can you see resiliency worming a new pet back into your life? Before you know it you have bounced back from the loss of a pet and moved on to the next furry, feathery or leathery pet.
Resiliency is sometimes confused with hard headedness. Farming, or gardening which is just farming on a much smaller scale, is a wonderful case in point of resiliency. Toiling on a crop. Day by day, nursing the ground, seed, and plants. Debugging, weeding, and watering. Waiting for the day of harvest. Just of have hail come through and cut the plants to the ground. Drought brings green to its knees and turns things brown. Rain comes just after you lay your crop out to dry, again but differently, turning green to brown. What is there to do but resiliently say, “Next year! Just wait until next year.”
Resiliency is that tug, shove, push or pull that gets you through life. Drags you to the next moment where in the midst of crisis or merriment gone terribly wrong, you look at the situation and decide—Laugh or go crazy! As crazy as it sounds? I chose laughter. You?
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.