I rarely remember using the word iteration a decade ago, do you?
It’s too bad because I really like it. Especially in the creative process, as in ideation. I love that the word means change, improvement, evolve. I really like the word.
My fondness of “iteration” is probably a good two to three years old. But my appreciation for its significance and applicability to our own lives, outside of technology, is recent. Earlier this week a stranger suggested that I am on Karen 2.0, in a meager attempt to be cute about my “single” life post-divorce. If birth, marriage, and divorce were the only factors that constituted a new iteration of one’s self, then I’d be on 5.0, which is so terribly low. Come on, iOS is at 11.2.
The remark brought me back to a picture that I bought about seven years ago. It’s always hung in a spot where I will see it more than once a day. Over time it’s become a beloved mantra, a simple reminder that we have the power to change the outcome. Math is certainly not my strong suit, but logic is. I figure if every day is an opportunity to make a new ending, then each day brings with it the promise of a new beginning. Accounting for groundhog days and leap years, at 46 years old times 365 days in each year, I am probably around iteration 16,790.
And that number reflects today. Because “change” smacked me in the face this morning. It was a hard smack. My Friday 6 a.m. Yin class is a ritual, in part for the practice, the teacher, the company, the humor, and the coffee and food we share afterward. My life is really thrown off when I can’t make it. And the past 24 hours of life were already off, due to a client crisis, that kept me awake until 2 a.m. I didn’t plan to make it to class this morning because I knew I’d be both short on sleep and pre-occupied with the client. But, when I woke up at 5:15 a.m., just like clockwork, I fed the dogs, made the coffee, filled the carafe, piled the cups, sugar, spoons, and milk into my Mary Poppins bag, and headed out the door to Essencia.
Much to my surprise Jeannine, our beloved teacher, was ill. Honestly, I was disappointed. David was standing in for her, and while a lovely gent he is, he’s no Jeannine. My sleep-deprived, ritual-disturbed self-grabbed a bolster and some blocks and set up my mat, avoiding eye contact with the usual suspects in attendance. I was disturbed and began repeating the serenity prayer. I knew I’d better roll with this change or risk ruining the day. David quoted from Maya Angelou (the exact quote I can not find) but it had to do with her loving this day because she’s never met it before. And David said, how true that is because every day is new and every day we can’t help but change, even when we get too little sleep and stubbornly want to stick to the routine. I was so busted, I’m no actress!
Truth in-check, after a lovely savasana, I poured everyone coffee, checked in on my crisis and soon was front and center. The usual suspects, David now included, listened as I told this story about meeting this stranger (the same person who said I was on Karen 2.0). I was animated, I was happy, and I had them in stitches. I was beaming with joy for the gift this stranger gave to me. Inspiring me and reminding me how change presents itself to us. It’s up to us if we embrace, repulse, revile, love, fear, loathe, or cherish it. When we accept it and learn from it, then our next best iteration is revealed.
Much like Maya Angelou, I never met a day like today. The day had not begun when I walked to the garage. I entered a yard of darkness. The sky above was so clear and black with its stars so sharp and plentiful that it appeared to be randomly pierced by a dart that invited narrow streams of light to emerge, all of which were superseded by the size and splendor of the sensational half-moon, whose white light just bathed me as I walked out to the garage. I stood in awe of its beauty. I stood grateful for the moment and the presence of mind to welcome yesterday’s ending and today’s beginning. And yes, I still drove on foolishly expecting it to be a Friday like every other. That changed once I had my coffee.