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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I'll cross that Bridge when in it collapses under Me!

I know I know, it's a catchy and distorted paraphrasing of the common adage -

I'll cross that Bridge when I get to it.

As usual I have edited and adapted a common life axiom to fit my own life.

It actually popped into my deviant brain as I was discussing an upcoming change I was having to make regarding my current condo / residence in Santa Fe.  The owner is selling the property and has given me 60 days notice.  I was telling my daughter it was gonna be really hard to find a condo with the features, location and price I currently had.

So she asked - "What if you don't find a place to live in Santa Fe?"

To which I cleverly responded "I'll cross that Bridge when it collapses under Me."

And once I said it, I realized it's become a Life Theme of mine over the past few years.

In my line of work, working in the petrochemical industry, where there’s a lot of critical rotating equipment, there’s a lot of time and effort directed toward predicting and planning for equipment failures. 

Historical data is collected on equipment parts like bearings and seals based on operating temperatures, pressures and flows and that data is correlated with the wear on these critical moving parts so that failures / failure durations can be predicted – one of the big measures of this is MTBF – Mean Time Between Failures.

So if you can predict when a part is gonna fail, you change the part out right before it fails…. So you’re proactive vs reactive.

Hang with me here – I know it seems I’ve gone off into the Engineering / Nerd World Weeds but there is a hook so just bare naked with me.

For most of my life, I have planned, prepared and looked ahead and done everything I could to avoid mishaps and failures of a physical, spiritual, emotional, vocational and relational nature.

I used past experiences, current knowledge and plans for future events to guide my future actions.

And for the most part, I’ve failed at it.

Yep - Failed health, Failed career, Failed marriages.

So starting about 5 years ago, I tried something different.

I picked a direction, an objective and just started heading towards it, guided more by the pathways and opportunities that were provided me rather than my own coercion and convolution of future events.

Basically, I maintain a constant course until some significant data point or event causes me to alter course.

The failure of my left knee in early January was an example of that.  Even though I probably should have taken more proactive measures to have it replaced earlier, I forced the knee to fail before I did something about it.

I crossed that Bridge when it collapsed under me….. Literally!

This kind of Failure forces Immediate and Decisive Action - It is a clear indicator of the direction of near term effort and events.

What I'm talking about here is a very reactive way of conducting life which is very counter culture to me.

I have learned to eat more instinctively – eating what my body wants and only when my body wants it.

Working out is the same way.  I continuously go where my body tells me to go – to PIYO, on a bike ride, to CrossFit, hiking, dancing….. It's an eclectic mix of hard core body blowing activities and milder activities of stretching, joint preservation and mixing social interaction with exercise.

I haven’t looked for Work…. Work has found me and forced me to respond to it.

I have lived alone and haven't looked for friendships or relationships but have responded to them when they have made themselves apparent and available.

I’ve stayed in Santa Fe because there has been no significant driving force to get me to move elsewhere.

In almost every aspect of Life, I am forcing Change to make its case, to overcome the inertia of the status quo, to force me to address it through a Real Time vs Predicted Failure….

Through Collapse of the Bridge beneath me.

There’s a lot of proponents in Santa Fe of the “Just Let Life Flow” approach.

I’m not sure I will ever adopt this perspective on Life. 

My Life Water tends to Crash vs Flow.

I prefer to think of my Life as a Wide Open Sprint through a Minefield or better yet across Mined Bridges where the trick is to get through and across to the other side before it blows up beneath me.

You cover more ground that way.

It's kinda like when I asked my Total Knee Replacement Surgeon, Dr Gregory Stocks, what would happen if I "broke" my new left knee.

He simply responded....

"I'll fix it".

Running to Failure is an Option - like Running Towards a Fire instead of Away from it.

And for me it's the Option I've chosen.

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