bluegrass twang and other failures

Bluegrass.  I recently learned about the 80% rule.  It’s a challenge to people who struggle with trying to achieve too much (ahem, me), to welcome some screw-ups 20% of the time.  A hard concept to accept, but a useful one.

I’ve been learning the value of that 20%.  It’s not just to lower your standard from an unattainable perfection (100%), but embracing the smaller chunk of the pie, the times when things don’t go as planned.  It’s in those times that life happens, that the laughter comes.

Just last week I’d been having car troubles.  I needed to shuffle cars and kids and get my car to the dealership.  In all of that, I ended up driving my mother-in-law’s big Buick down the road in Lincoln to a place I’d never been before.

Little did I know I had the wrong address plugged into my directions app on my phone.  So, I ended up 20 minutes out of my way.  Trying to deal with this frustration I decided to turn on the radio. . . twangy country. . . oh brother.  But as I searched through stations, I quickly realized that my mother-in-law has every obscure country station known to man pre-programmed.  It was like a revolving door of hillbilly twang.  The 20% idea popped into my mind, so instead of getting frustrated, I turned up the volume and opened the windows.

I pulled into my destination jamming out to some plunky banjo tune with the warm summer breeze blowing through my hair, blessed by a 20 minute drive that shouldn’t have been.

When I arrived at my destination I not only felt better, but I had a great ice-breaker story that helped me to make a connection at my meeting.  This week I read that “on the other side of trauma is a new chapter.”  I’m starting to think that on the other side of things going wrong is the alive/colorful/zesty version of things going right in ways never expected.

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