I'm sitting in my favorite neighborhood coffee shop, La Bella Cafe in Uptown Village, where the barista greets me by name and knows my drink of choice: skinny Big Train Chai. It's a lazy Saturday afternoon and I've come here to relax and write. It's special time I anticipate each week.
However, today the regular barista who knows me by name is not working and the shop has run out of my favorite chai. I am not a coffee drinker, which is a rarity here in the rainy Pacific Northwest, home of Starbucks and Seattle's Best. So I ordered a nonfat Mexican hot chocolate instead. And I was pleasantly surprised at how spicy and delicious it was.
On the oversized chalkboard near where I sit, someone has written this apropos quote:
"Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."
It's certainly true in my life, even down to the most minute circumstances. If the coffee shop hadn't run out of my favorite chai, I wouldn't have tasted the delicious Mexican hot chocolate. I would have missed that experience of trying something new. And I am all about trying new experiences.
If I were to step back and look at the bigger picture, this quote is very appropriate for many areas of my life. I'll bet it is for yours too.
Good thing that fell apart: Being laid off from a job that I had poured my heart and soul into for four-and-a-half years.
Resulting good thing that fell together: Starting a new job at the Columbian newspaper that uses my writing skills, but that only requires 40 hours a week. It's so refreshing to be able to leave work and know that I did my job and now have the evening or even an entire weekend for my own pursuits. How refreshing!
Good thing that fell apart: When I lost my job, I had to sell my charming 90-year-old house before it became a short sale.
Resulting good thing that fell together: Becoming a renter for the first time in a long time freed up my time, money and energy that I was expending to maintain a large, vintage house and a yard.
Good thing that fell apart: When I sold my house, I had to downsize very quickly from a three-story house to a one-bedroom apartment.
Resulting good thing that fell together: Before I moved, I had to examine countless boxes of stuff that we had hidden away in the attic--and I got rid of about half of what I owned. That was extremely freeing.
Good thing that fell apart: When I had to downsize and move quickly, even though I was under tremendous stress, I was too busy to stress eat and I was moving my body double time to clear out the house.
Resulting good thing that fell together: My health! As I was going through boxes, I found my workbook about mindful eating and I started examining at my relationship with food with new eyes. Without even trying, I lost 10 pounds in December. That was such an encouragement to me that I joined our community gym and started working out regularly. I have lost a total of 22 pounds and several inches so far. I'm more than a third of the way to my goal in just three months!
I even joined a dragon boat team, the Mighty Women, and I'm anticipating my first dragon boat race this spring. With all the paddling and other exercising, I am changing my body to a much stronger, healthier and smaller body. That's definitely a better thing!
Many good things fell apart in the last two years of my life, but they have been replaced by better things. I'm happier than I have been in a long time. I am living. I am having adventures. I am paddling my own canoe--and having the time of my life.
The next time something good falls apart in your own life, don't despair. Be on the lookout for a better thing to fall together.