Where Resilience Comes From

I am learning about resilience, as in, I have some, like a good disease. My internet broke the other day right in the middle of scanning, reading contracts, jotting down notes about insurance companies and movers and fiddling around with this blog. I was able to troubleshoot, diagnose and purchase the right unit to replace the storm-casualty router, despite the snotty sales kid who made it obvious he did not waste his time talking to a woman over 20 years old. I told him I needed a router but he rolled his eyes and said, are you sure you don’t mean a modem?  No, I insisted, momentarily confused by his cocky confidence. (Did I have the wrong terminology all this time)? He yanked a box from the shelf and mumbled about Mbsp (megabytes per second), the larger the number, the faster the speed but leaving out the part about how much broadband speed you are actually paying for each month. 

While the diagnostic guesswork was going on, I needed some paperwork signed, scanned and delivered, so I went to Mom & Dad’s house to borrow their machine. While I read the instructions on how to use it, Dad wiggled his power scooter from its corner in the den to prepare to head down the street to the mailbox. After wrestling it into position in the living room, he fetched his straw hat and sunglasses, then mounted the scooter.

It dawned on me while watching him, this is where I learned about resilience. I grew up watching my parents figure things out, seek and discover options. If a goal can’t be reached this way, let’s try this one, it’s different but it could work. If this tool won’t fix a broken part, maybe an unconventional use of another tool will. Suspend assumptions about what will and won’t work, and then suspend expectations about the results. This is easier to do when you know the end of the story. We are all blind to the future, we all grope in the dark. 

Back to Dad. I offered to open the two doors to the outside driveway so he could motor out to the mailbox island at the end of their street but he said no, I got this, then picked up the end of a tattered old dog leash tied to the inside door knob. He drove the scooter through the door, holding the leash that neatly pulled the door closed behind him. He gave another tug to latch it quietly so as not to wake up mom, who was napping in the other room. I saw the resilient genius as if for the first time, and more than that, recognized it in myself, finally acknowledging a lost piece of a puzzle to put together the woman I am meant to be, here it is, I found it and it belongs right here, front and center.

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