Can pot holes be a good thing?

This morning I reinstated my running program. There is a new Reebook ad that sums up this situation for me. The ad starts out stating straight up “you have this love-hate relationship with running.” True. Very True.

There I was, loping through the darkness. It felt like a scene in some old black and white movie, a sailor returning to his ship after a long night in some foreign port. I was only about 100 yards from the house when I dang near broke my ankle in a pot hole. This time of year the roads are shot. They look like a shield King Arthur carried, scarred and gnarly after endless efforts to defend it’s purpose.

But now, the seasons have made the turn. Spring is here. Things change. The pot hole not only came close to snapping something in my ankle but it snapped me back into reality. As I looked around the neighborhood I was somewhat surprised to discover how many homes are for sale. Homes owned by people who I thought would never leave. Things change. There are homes for sale because of a divorce, because kids have grown and left, job changes, illness. Things change. One sold that we didn’t even know was for sale which is unfortunate because it is a sweet home… and it happens to be the childhood home of Gerald R. Ford.

All of us have had to contend with change… intentional or otherwise. Like a tire that bounces through a pit in the road, we keep on rolling. Whether we will contend with change isn’t really the issue, it’s how we manage our way through it that makes the definitive moments.

Last summer we took Amtrak from Michigan to Montana. One of the most memorable experiences of that journey was how with each stop in every little town, the occupants of the train changed. It was like speed dating. Someone new sits down, talk to them for several hours, get to know them a little bit and snap, they get off at the next town and someone else gets on. Change happens.

This is true with how we approach events in our home too. In the span of an hour, a routine day, a week, a season or a life time… things change. We should go in knowing it will happen and stay open to the learnings it will provide. Last December we moved a chair to make room for the Christmas tree. The tree is long gone but we love the chair where it is so much we left it there.

In it’s old place is a pile of musical instruments. Prior to now it was a choir to get one out and dink around with it…”ease of use equates to frequency of use”. I find the instruments get used much more often now. This is a great example of how design reacts to society, how design can enable improvement and how change can provide positive yet surprising results. But I still suggest you watch out for pot holes if you go running in the dark.



3 thoughts on “Can pot holes be a good thing?

  1. Management by serendipity: Keeping the chair in the new place. Obtaining access to your musical instruments.

    Making lemonade: Using a painful interruption to reflect on your neighborhood, leading to a general consideration of change and…..a blog entry!

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