John Lennon once said that Life is what happens when you're making other plans. At least it might have been John Lennon. Perhaps it was Jack Lemmon who said it. It's late and I don't want to look it up. Anyways, no matter who said it, they're wrong.
Life doesn't sneak up on you and quietly overtake you. Instead it winds up like a major league slugger and belts you with an aluminum baseball bat. Whenever you think you're in a groove, that's when life takes over and slams into you, ricocheting you 180° away from your intended target. Finding out you're pregnant. Losing a job. Getting hitched to an internet bride. All things that can happen in an instant without any warning.
I think that these events come as a statement from God that we should never be too complacent. For better or worse, change is inevitable. It's what makes us grow and prosper as human beings, and what drives most major historical events. If England didn't suddenly issue crippling taxes and tariffs, would we be in such a hurry to achieve independence? If Rosa Parks went with the flow, would the civil rights movement have caught fire? If a bulldozer didn't try to level Arthur Dent's house, would he have ever made it to the End of the Universe?
The television will tell you that you should spend every waking minute preparing for these changes by buying gold or some insurance policy. Or at least counter-act the changes by suing someone -- anyone. But that doesn't resolve the issue, it merely gambles on what life changing event will come your way. Placing a large wager on Cancer only prepares you for one out of infinite possibilities. Your changing moment could come as Loses Ear in Benihana Accident. What are you gonna do now?
It's the transitions that really test your mettle, no matter if the change is good or evil. Stomping around and kicking the cat seems to be a popular option for certain personalities. Blaming others instead of yourself. Turning to religion though you've never been to church. Drinking until you pass out. Becoming an annoying beacon of energy that lifts up everything you touch. Baking delicious baked goods. Or my favorite, giving stuff away to all your friends and neighbors named Jack Grubb.
I personally tend to retreat to nostalgia. Something goes amiss in my life, and I'm stocking up on my favorite books, like Winnie the Pooh, Catcher in the Rye, and the Harry Potter series. I tend to hunt down the essential movies like The Natural, Ghostbusters, and The Goonies. The months before my daughter was born, I had to watch every episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show and Charles in Charge. Sometimes when I even feel a major change coming on, I still hum a few bars of:
Charles in Charge of our days and our nights,
Charles in Charge of our wrongs and our rights,
And I sing, I want, I want Charles in charge of me...
I'm sure now that I've found the groove as a work at home dad and blogger extraordinaire that something is about to go down. I've been wearing my official Chicago Bears helmet ready for the blow and have the complete series of The Golden Girls queued up on Netflix. Hopefully it has nothing to do with clowns. They freak the hell out of me.
Jack Grubb writes an incredible blog, Losing the Internets, which is read by at least 37 people and over 2,100 Russian SPAM bots. In his spare time he helps small companies find their marketing voice. Jack currently lives deliberately in Appalachia, Kentucky with his wife, two daughters, Jack Russell and a Lego collection beyond compare.