February 13, 2013

Happy Accidents




Of course not all accidents are happy ones.

However, some of my favorite personal (and often bizarre) discoveries only happened because something Frustrating and Annoying and Seemingly Pointless preceded it.

And btw, on a totally different topic, 'cause why not, this is not a freakin' textbook, my search for an "accident" picture led me to a terrifying (photoshopped, thank god) image that so succinctly captures one of my many phobias that I just had to share it!



Am I the only one who envisions this outcome as enough of a possibility to make amusement parks less amusing? And so yeah, I have trust issues. Do carnies really inspect every part and tighten ever bolt they're supposed to? So all this personal development stuff below has not entirely transformed my suspicious personality.

Anyway.

Just one boring recent example and some further prattling and then I want to find out what YOU guys have discovered accidentally.

(And yes, those of you who are part of the Thread Of Mutual Awesomeness comment thing may recognize this briefer, lazier blogging approach as part of the get-the-next-goddamn-ebook-written goal. And hey, speaking of which, is it time for a goal check-in? Stop back soon and let us know how you're doing! Plus, there may be some giveaway opportunities later this month reserved just for TOMA participants. Or it may be next month. But things are in the works.)

The Sad Story of My F--cked Up Walkman

So for years I'd been calling my iPod a "Walkman" and driving the Lobster crazy because, well, I'm old and stubborn and that's what I always call any portable music device even though I am well aware that iPods took over the world many years ago.

But now, I actually own a Walkman again! I wanted something with at least 16GB but I wanted it bigger than a postage stamp but smaller and lighter than a big-ass phone, and Apple had annoyingly phased that option out, so I bought one of these thingies:


Which is fine and I'm glad I made the switch, though it has its frustrations. But this is not a product review.

Anyway, one day I was heading off to the gym and was horrified to discover I'd run out of batteries, because the music was playing really slowly!  And it got worse when I discovered that no amount of charging would restore the tunes to their former perkiness.

I can not work out to disco funeral dirges. Crap! Was I gonna have to go back to iPodlandia after all and start over with a new player?

Well, duh.  EVENTUALLY I discovered that there is speed control button on this thing, one that had somehow been jostled onto a super slow setting.

Wait... a speed control button? One that can also bump up a 130ish bpm podcast useful only for walking into a 170 bpm podcast perfect for my elliptical workout?  Hooray!! Acceptable faster music is much much harder for me to find than typical "workout" speeds, so this was an awesome discovery.

(And sure, it sounds hilarious and freaky at first to hear your tunes speeded up, but I got used to it surprisingly quickly and now I have a whole new universe of free podcast options for elliptical tunes!)

Which I never would have discovered if I hadn't "broken" my Walkman.

This Shit Happens All the Time To Me Now

I won't haul out nine million more examples, but how many new recipes, workout routines, restaurants and even friendships have come into my life because something else that was supposed to happen got screwed up or fell through?

Even bigger annoyances like my prolonged hysterectomy recovery, or my insomnia or plantar fasciitis etc have brought new insights and resources that have greatly aided my ultimate health and/or personal growth.

I suspect there have been many more instances of this, big and small, throughout my life, but I didn't pay enough attention. And in fact, more often I perceived the universe as indifferent at best, or often downright hostile.

I am so much happier now that I actively LOOK for evidence that the universe is sneakily on my side. Weirdly enough, the more I look for happy accidents, the more I find them.

And it doesn't even matter if this is a real phenomenon or a case of wishful thinking.  Logically I know the latter is more likely, but I don't even care anymore. As long as it feels real, I get to live in a subjectively more benign and cooperative world where I am always lucky and blessed, even if  I have to put up with temporarily aggravating shit every now and then.

Random Thought From the Universe:

And how timely was it that a clever Cranketeer directed me to the website "TUT," which will send you messages from "the Universe," should you be up for them?


The one I got while finishing up this post?

"For every unexpected bump, turn, or squiggle on the path of life, Crabby, you pretty much have two choices:

Accept it as if you yourself had meticulously planned it and as if you're being watched by 10,000 cheering angels who love you so much, you're pretty much all they ever sing about.

Or, accept it, kicking and screaming, as if it were some freak accident or random mistake that had befallen you by chance.

I know which I would choose,
The Universe"


Anyone else ever find this to be true or have any examples?


Cautions: Lenara
Rollercoaster: Vipez

58 comments:

  1. Everything happens for a reason though it is rarely obvious right away. This happens to me all the time, can I think of an example right now? Ha! No.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've met plenty of great people because of accidents, lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too funny Dr. J, never thought about the special role accidents play in the life of a surgeon!

      Delete
  3. I went to check out a gym I had 'found' on line through a friend of a friend on Facebook. I went there – no one in the room. I looked around for a flier, price sheet, something!...nada. I had such high hopes for this place, I was pretty bummed that there wasn't anyone to talk to. My friend and I made our way back to the parking lot (did I mention that this room was in the back of a gymnastics studio and we had to walk over all these weird bouncy things and pads to get to the back room?).

    When we got to the parking lot my friend looked up and saw a sign for another business in the same development and said “what’s Final Cut?” we went to check it out. One of the owners (also a trainer) was there. Karla took 1.5 hours talking to us about their philosophy asking us about our work out histories etc. She was awesome (still is!). Other than meeting my husband, ‘finding’ Final Cut remains one of my favorite happy accidents. I’ve been working out there for almost 3 years now. :)

    I am TERRIFIED of ferris wheels! I'll go on a roller coaster now and again but I refused the slow, rocking wheel of potential death!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, love the Final Cut story, that's exactly the kinda thing I find so gratifying.

      Ick, ferris wheels! And I'm not crazy about ski lifts either, but since I've only been skiing a handful of times I haven't been stuck on one. But the thought of the thing breaking down and stopping for an extended period of time (not that uncommon, from what I hear) while I'm suspended in this little swinging chair high up in the air fills me with horror. I'd be afraid I'd panic and jump out. How weird am I??

      Delete
    2. The problem with ferris wheels is that they're actually a little bit dull after the first spin - if you're going to endanger your life, you really shouldn't be BORED while doing so!

      Delete
    3. The very idea of being on a ski lift **shudder**.

      Shadowduck! Ha! Yes, life endangerment should be fast, thrilling and never ever boring! Agreed. That being said - the scary thing about the dreaded ferris wheel is the looooong, painfully slow amount of time I have to contemplate my fall to a very certain death. ;)

      Delete
    4. Teehee. Have you seen the Google image today?!? Ferris Wheels and Roller Coasters. :)

      Delete
  4. It has been my experience that if you lie down on the floor on a sunny day and look left then right then up you will discover several past accidents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or, if the day is overcast, simply follow the trajectory of any convenient one-year-old child.

      Delete
  5. "Disco funeral dirges" had me laughing out loud (seriously!) for a couple of minutes...do you think they played one at Donna Summer's funeral? (too soon?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NOT too soon, Shelley!

      Actually, wonder if they played "Last Dance?"

      Delete
  6. Thank you for the link to TUT! I have a Facebook friend who has referred to her "notes from the universe" once in awhile and I had NO IDEA what she was talking about. I am off to check that out now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some rather unusual stuff over there, but I'm always a sucker for email reminder thingies!

      Delete
  7. A friend and I were on a little weekend trip a couple of years back. On the way home, I took a wrong turn (maybe more than 1) so it took us extra time. The good part - had we not wandered around lost for 30 minutes or so, we would have been part of an interstate accident involving 100+ cars!!! WooHoo for being bad with directions!
    Loved your Walkman story!!!
    I don't do roller coaster and ski lifts are part of a freak show for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG, that's a horribly awesome "wrong turn" story Kim! Yikes!!

      Delete
  8. I don't have a happy accident to share off the top of my head, but one of the best things I ever heard on TV was an episode of Roseanne, in which the little boy went up to his mom and said his sister had told him he was an accident and was it true. Roseanne said, "You weren't an accident. You were a surprise. When he asked what's the difference, she said "An accident is something you don't want. A surprise is something you didn't know you wanted until you got it." Man, I loved that show.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love that Trabb's Boy! And yeah, that show had so many hilarious yet poignant moments. And it was really pretty groundbreaking back in the day!

      Delete
  9. Some of the best places I've visited were the result of wrong turns. I try to remember that and apply it to other life situations. Sometimes it even works! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah Cammy, it's a little easier in theory than in practice, especially if you're in the middle of one of the f--cked up messes that only LATER turns out to have had some redeeming value!

      Delete
  10. So I scampered off to the TUT site. Let me tell you, that just goes to show how much I want to hear from the universe...worst sign up process ever. The person that invented the random word/picture generator to prove your are human doesn't even need to die to find their special place...I will make them on on earth.

    Anyway, I eagerly await my message.

    I try to hang on to the "everything happens for a reason" belief...it is what keeps me going. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Captchas are generally terrible, but this one WAS bad. I mentally crossed my fingers as I was typing that I was getting it right.

      Delete
    2. Oh dear, QD and OTF, wonder how I missed that, 'cause I am the Queen of Captcha-Haters. I sometimes have to try four or five times, which is why I disabled it on this blog.

      Sorry about that!

      Delete
    3. I am glad it wasn't just me!

      Don't be sorry...look at us, all dying for our messages from the universe. :)

      Delete
  11. I'm just one big happy accident..! I'm not so sure that everything happens for a "reason", but I'm sure that where I am now is the sum total of everything, good or bad, in my past - and where I am now is a good place. #8-)

    I went and had a look at TUT and, while I like the idea of getting philosophical and / or motivational messages from the universe, I'm not really a fan of the paranormal wish-fulfilment philosophy underlying the website (the guy behind it was one of the people behind "The Secret", so it'll probably appeal to the same audience) so I think I'll give it a miss. Sorry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I SO hear ya Shadowduck! And anyone who knew me a couple of years ago would be shocked to discover the extent to which I'm willing to set aside critical thinking skills in order to brainwash myself to hold beliefs that make me happier, objective reality be damned.

      Yet it seems to be workin' for me.

      My this Kool Aid is tasty!

      Delete
    2. That's a great way to put it, Shadowduck! Not that I want to wander into a religious discussion direction, but while I like the concept of "everything happens for a reason" it doesn't really mesh well with what I believe. "Everything that has happened to me was required to lead me to the place I'm in" definitely has a better sound.

      Delete
    3. Heck OTF, we can go any direction we want!

      My "gut level" belief, at this point in my life, is that things don't happen for a reason. And yet, starting to read about quantum physics and the nature of the universe and reality and consciousness has at least brought me to a place where I realize there is SO much I can't comprehend. Which leaves open a little piece of possibility that there is more meaning than I currently understand.

      And then I try to leverage that glimmer of a possibility into an "as if" sense that the universe is open to my input and expectation in ways that are ultimately for my benefit, if I decide to play the game.

      That must sound totally nonsensical; possibly more clarification later but gotta run!

      Delete
    4. Interesting thread. I looked at the TUT site, and I signed up. I read the Secret and thought it was, at best, "meh." (But a genius way to sell a book. And yes, I felt like a giant loser for buying it. Not the last stupid thing I've ever done.:)) Anyway, I still found myself really enjoying the TUT site. So I signed up for my daily message from the "Universe." I've only received a few, but they're quite funny, and I guess I'm like you, Crabby, I occasionally set aside my critical thinking skills as well, just for a laugh. :)And I agree that there is an awful lot we just don't know. I'm not religious, and yet I do think their is a possibility that our thoughts have some energy that we can't understand...yet. The world is full of possibilities! If you're interested in this kind of discussion, check out this TED talk with Dr. David Eagleman. Fascinating.http://youtu.be/LENqnjZGX0A
      Gaye

      Delete
    5. "...there is a possibility," not, "their is." Ugh. Brain cramp. I should proof read before I hit send.
      Gaye

      Delete
    6. Gaye, YES, I too wonder if "our thoughts may have some energy we don't yet understand." Loved the link and may have found a home in Possibilianism!

      Delete
  12. It took years, but now I'm an everything-happens-for-a-reason kind of gal. Even the seemingly crappy stuff. Which generally turns out to have some higher purpose after it's endured and bitched about.

    I think of how I met you online. I can't remember of course. Do you? But I'm assuming it was by accident. One of my favorite accidents by far. :)



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joyce, I am SO glad we ran into each other on line, very much the happy sort of accident!

      Delete
  13. I have big luck. Both good and bad. The universe knows I am fairly oblivious so it has to slap me upside the head with things or I won't notice. It is almost always good though.

    Good things, found my perfect job reading a newspaper on vacation. Who hires scientists in a paper? Husband found job in this almost big town too in one day. This was 13 years ago. We found house in one day with possession in one week at an unbelievable price.

    Front row center seats at Phantom of the Opera because my friends boss had the flu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Tina, great to hear from you, and hope the Universe is showering all kinds of fortunate blessings on you!

      'Cause as I recall, it ain't like you don't work hard and don't deserve good fortune. The bad stuff can take a hike!

      Delete
  14. Yes, i've noticed that the more i look for happy accidents, the more they happen. Also, the more grateful i am for the things that do happen, the more good things happen. Maybe we do just notice it, but i'm thinking it's more than that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you messimimi, I kinda wonder if it isn't more than just our attention being on it. But if it isn't, don't tell me, 'cause I'm getting kinda attached to the idea that it isn't entirely random.

      Delete
  15. I am vaguely sure that this happens to me All The Time, but I can't think of a single instance.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably because you're too busy putting positive energy into the universe Mary Anne to get the specifics down, but your optimistic outlook probably comes from somewhere!

      Delete
  16. YES!!
    my life is filled with happy happy accidents.
    from friends to....friends to jobs :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You seem like the sort to take what life gives you and turn it into good fortune Miz!

      Delete
  17. I am one of the luckiest people I know! Haven't earned it and don't deserve it - at least not more than anyone else, so it is all a giant mystery to me. But, I'll take it the same way I've taken many of the lumps that have come my way, too. While I often tend to cherish 'routine' and some level of predictability, etc... - it sure is nice that there is a level of surprise every now and then - especially when it is of the "good" variety :)
    I, too, am often forced into change and it's funny how many times those changes actually end up being beneficial for me in one way or another I would never have guessed would happen. Here's to as much unexpected happiness as can be had for all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the way you acknowledge lumps anon, and yet still preserve the excitement and gratitude of feeling lucky! And being forced to change fills some folks with resentment, yet you see it as beneficial and don't get hung up on the forced part.

      And I'm with you, happy accidents for everyone!

      Delete
  18. Oddly enough, my obsession with my road bike was sort of an accident. I was already riding some, commuting with my bike on the train. So I eventually acquired tendinitis from lifting the big hybrid. I went to the local bike shop & asked for advice & they put me on a road bike & sent me off on a test ride. I was too scared to do more than ride around the block but also too shy to ask questions or make comments. So. I became a roadie.

    Next thing I knew I was signing up for the AIDS ride from SF to LA. Now I ride 6000 miles in a typical year. And make comments as Death Ride Grandma.

    Who'd've thought - tendinitis changes lives in a good way???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously, 6000 miles a year??!!! How funny that your love of road biking grew out of an accident DRG! Hope the tendinitis, now that it has served its purpose of uniting you with your new love, has gone on its merry way!

      Delete
  19. Oh man, that roller coaster photo just freaked me out and I’m glad that it has been photoshopped.

    ReplyDelete
  20. He hee. I have been firmly told by J to not call my iPod my walkman. Which I still have...I can't bring myself to get rid of it. How else can I listen to my old KLF cassettes? :)
    I accidentally hit the 2X speed on my iPod this monday and took me a while to figure out how to return my music form chipmunk land. I already workout to psytrance and techno so the 2X was waaaaaay to fast :)
    I am one of the clumsiest people born, so I have learned the hard way what not to do in most situations. I am amused that I have yet to break a bone or seriously injure myself. It's always something sort-of-bad but not really (like falling down the stairs on my bum this Christmas...sheesh). I always get looked at sideways at work when I caution people on things not to do because they might hurt themselves...and when they say "that can't happen" I can sheepishly grin and say, "well I did it, so be careful" :) Hooray for happy accidents though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad I'm not the only old-school gal calling all audio players a walkman, and damn, wish I'd saved mine too!

      And you may have some competition among Cranketeers for clumsiest human award, my theory is that a lot of us cerebral types have more important things on our minds than where we place our body parts in physical space. Glad nothing really bad has come of it!

      Delete
  21. I don't know if this counts, but my brother, who is eight years older than me, went to med school at Baylor in Houston. He told me about this little college I should look at, Rice, which was located right across from Baylor. I'd never heard of it, but after checking it out I fell in love and decided to go there. On my first day at school I met the boy who would eventually become my husband. My brother now tells our three children that they basically owe their existence to him. :)

    Oh, and I signed up at TUT. Hey, if the Universe wants to email me a message to brighten my day, I'm all for it. :)
    Gaye

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah Gaye, even when a random event that isn't frustrating or unfortunate, if it end up having SO much influence in our eventual happiness, it's a little freaky to contemplate how different our lives could be with a slight change in how things unfolded.

      Delete
  22. Late to the game but I am gonna start looking!!! :) I have had so many weird things happen in general though - sometimes ya got to wonder! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Jody, in my experience, as you start looking you may find some interesting stuff starts happening! Good luck!

      Delete
  23. Happy accidents do happen all the time. Often it's a matter of recognizing and acknowledging them.. but they're always out there. Can I come up with one right now? Nuh-unh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a brilliant photographer I bet you've probably had many happy accidents where you captured something entirely different than what you thought you were "supposed" to be photographing Hilary!

      Delete

Thanks for commenting, Cranky Fitness readers are the BEST!

Subscribe to comments via RSS

(Note: Older Comment Threads Are Moderated)