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Monday, April 12, 2010

To Flounder

I took my daughter and my miniature schnauzer, Fritz, for a walk on the greenway today.  When we started out, Fritz was very uptight, pulling on his leash, marking his "territory," and being a general grump.  This was the first time he had been on a walk with the baby.  Along the way, he gradually loosened up until he was nicely walking by my side and paying no attention to passers-by.  However, towards the end of the hike, there were several bikes, joggers, and skaters passing us right in a row.  There was a momentary frenzy of activity and, then, a jogger came from behind us with another dog.  Poor Fritz jumped, started barking, and pulled on the leash like crazy-- his typical reaction to such a situation.  What happened?  He had been doing so well only moments before.

I began to ponder this observation and realized that people can be very much like Fritz at times.  We enter a situation in a state of unease, alert to our surroundings, and a bit uncomfortable.  After some time, we develop a rhythm and fall into place.  Things are easy, unhurried.  However, when we are caught by surprise or a flurry of activity, we quickly fall back into our old ways.  We react through our deepest instincts.  Could this be what they mean by the saying, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks?"

I'm going through a period of this in my own life.  Change is on the horizon, though I can't quite tell what shape it will take.  Will it catch me off guard?  Will I react as I have in the past?  Will I flee and hide my head or will I learn to stand strong in the face of fear and/or adversity?  You see, I greatly fear change.  I need to learn to adapt more easily.  I wonder, if I should learn to be more flexible, will I still fall into my old ways once change rears its head?

So, what about you?  Have there been times in which you've been sailing along, struck off guard, and left floundering?  How have you overcome the situation?

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