Reframing life when it's amazing and messy

Life is amazing and messy.  No matter your age, you should try for a week of full of firsts now and then.  It's good for you, keeps you off balance a little.  Apparently doing balance exercises helps you prevent falls as you age.  The exercises keep your body strong and tune your senses so if you do hit a moment of instability you can react to save yourself from a fall.  After this week I am convinced that the same is true of life in general.  Trying new things regularly and challenging yourself to stretch a bit will keep you from getting old and boring.  Your body will still get old but at least you won't be boring.

I went to my first ever book signing at Audrey's.  I wasn't signing; it wasn't my book.  But I had never been to a book signing so it was a first and it made me think, maybe I'd like to sign books someday.  Then I got a parking ticket on Tuesday and a speeding ticket on Wednesday, in two different cities.  I have never had two tickets in two days, in fact I can't recall having two tickets in one year.  The last time I was pulled over by the police was about twenty years ago so I was left feeling a little off balance.

That sense of the world being off kilter was exacerbated when the polite officer pointed out that my insurance card was expired.  Somehow Miss Efficiency had put the renewal in the file cabinet without replacing the cards.  My valid card was 300 kilometres away and I was to be onstage speaking at the far south end of Calgary within a couple of hours.  Time stopped while I waited on the side of the road wondering what was going to happen.  Plus I was sifting my mind, convinced I had seen an 80 Km sign as I turned onto the road just a few hundred yards behind me.  But for once in my life, and it might well have been another first, I didn't debate the point.
DisruptHRYYC November 2016

I was doing 80 Km, no doubt about it.  I had been working to get my speed up because I had to cross three lanes of traffic to get to the Deerfoot North exit.  So what went wrong?  How had I missed the speed limit dropping by 20 Km?  I was following someone who was going faster than me.  I know that because they were ahead of me.  The laws of logic applied, however they didn't get pulled over.  And that was strictly a logistics issue, there was no space on the boulevard for them to park because of the speed trap vehicles and all the officers.  There was space in the centre median specially for me.

The officer was kind.  He gave me a big ticket for my speed transgression, said he believed I had current insurance in place and waived that infraction.  Then he cautioned me not to get hurt pulling back into the traffic.  My smart-mouth tendency nearly took over when he said that, but I had another first and kept it zipped.  I pulled away planning my return to check the signage, convinced I had seen an 80 Km sign.

The next morning I left the city using the same route; the 80 Km sign was there just as I turned the corner.  There was a warning sign on the right hand side of the road indicating a drop in speed.  On the far left, where I was headed, there was no warning sign.  I felt kind of vindicated.  The speed dropped suddenly at the point where the speed trap was set up with no warning for the drivers in the far left of three lanes. I had a long drive home to consider whether I should fight the ticket which would be another first.

The whole ticket thing left me feeling off balance, out of sync with the world.  I felt victimized by the stupid parking machine and the lack of signage on the road.  I had been trying to be compliant with the laws of the land and yet I was penalized.  I had a little pity party going on.  Obviously it was time for a pep talk.  It was time to reframe the experience and carry on.  So I decided to look for the firsts instead of the poor me parts.  The book signing, even the two tickets back to back, and speaking to a crowd in a brewery, young enough to be my kids - those were the firsts.  I have done a fair amount of speaking but never in a brewery.  I was grateful for my high school friend, Mike, who gave up his evening to attend and take photos for me.  And so, life continues to unfold in amazing and messy ways. Sometimes it just takes a little mental gymnastics to find your equilibrium and sift out the good stuff.  What happened in your week that was either amazing, messy, or both at the same time?