The Glamorous Life: Flexibility

The Dance of Life Requires Flexibility.

by Lee Ann “Sunny” Brown

Sometimes things just don’t go as planned. In fact, I would say that the majority of the time, even though things usually work out in the end, the journey there doesn’t exactly go according to plan. We don’t always arrive in the style we envisioned. That’s particularly unfortunate when I have gone out and bought a darling new dress and pair of shoes just for the occasion! The key to adjusting to the unexpected situation is flexibility. I am forever needing to remind myself of the importance of remaining flexible, even though you would think this would be easy for me by now, given all the ballet classes I have taken in my life.

On more than one occasion, I have set myself up for disappointment, expecting that things would go the way I planned and then being thrown into frustration when they take a turn for the worse instead.

The fact is it’s so easy to get wrapped up in “The Plan” that it can be difficult to be open to different ways of getting there. If we remain rigid in our ideas we may miss all of the lovely detours along the way. I have learned to enjoy taking the scenic route, especially since I totally lack any sense of direction. It might take a little longer, but we eventually reach our destination, and we enjoy the journey a little more, too. Oh, sure, we might get lost a few times, but I’ve found myself lost quite often, and it’s not so bad as you think. You must learn to just roll with it, and again, it’s flexibility that will enable you to flip flop to plan B when your plan A didn’t quite work out as hoped. Sometimes you just can’t control everybody, uh, I mean everything. In fact, without that flexibility, you just might break bending over backwards to keep things from going off course.

It’s a good thing that we are born flexible, because we usually start out in life already trying to meet expectations that are set for us by our parents, and it can get difficult to live up to those exactly as they would desire us to. I know my dad expected that I would be a great jazz clarinet player, and I think how disappointed he would be to know that I am now using my clarinet as a lamp. I am sure when he heard me play that he must have been very disappointed, which would explain why I was made to take private lessons every Saturday morning of my youth. I was never going to be the next Benny Goodman, no matter how much he tried to make it happen. However, I must say that it’s amazing how great I have sounded on it around two o’clock in the morning after a few cocktails. My dad just needed to adjust his expectations!

I have found that I am constantly having to adjust mine as well, especially as a parent. Neither one of my kids were interested in the clarinet, either. And no matter how many times I tried to get them interested in joining me in some of my favorite activities, like walking in silence, reading in silence or sitting in nature in silence, they just wouldn’t have any of it. So much for great expectations. But they have their own plans, and I am sure that I do not always cooperate with those. We do our best to find some common ground so that everybody wins. The best times are when we are high with expectations but willing to make a few adjustments to the plan, if necessary.

The same can be said for most situations and relationships. Sure, it’s fun to know what your goals are, how we want our friends and family to respond to our ideas (or laugh at our jokes), what we want to experience from a long-planned trip, what we hope to take away from trying something new, how it will be when we finally meet someone we have long admired, or what we think the reaction will be when we put on that sexy new nightgown. But we must be willing to find a position of compromise. It’s just so unsatisfying feeling “let down” or that things just didn’t measure up.

All in all, remaining flexible, being able to bend without breaking and being open to taking a new position will prove to be helpful in a lot more areas of life than in just the bedroom. In the end, I have found that even with all of that ballet training I had, there are a lot more positions to take then just five, and with a little stretch of the imagination and willingness to bend a little, you will be surprised to find how much more pleasurable is the journey

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