Monday, December 04, 2006

Chance Favors the Prepared Mind (and Nose)

Recently it has become apparent that things which appear to happen to me by chance often are not completely accidental. I began to think along these lines a few decades ago when I saw a high school production of You Can't Take it With You, thanks to my daughter's involvement with high school dramatics. For those of you unfamiliar with this gem of a play, it has lots of fun moments, but the one that stuck with me most was the character and circumstances of the mother, who explains that she started writing plays because a typewriter was delivered to her house by mistake.

Even though it was a farce, and the whole family were exaggeratedly eccentric, something about the mother deciding to write plays for such a whimsical reason resonated for me. Whether her plays were ever produced, I gradually came to realize, was beside the point. That mother was definitely ready to try something new. Most often lately, when something happens to me "by mistake," I think about how to turn it into an adventure. This has led to some interesting turns in my life. Furthermore, I've discovered that living this way increases the occurrence of wonderful "mistakes" so now that my worldly responsibilities have shrunk I've decided to spend most of my time preparing for the next accidental happening.

And then I remembered another source of a similar lesson: a children's book called Little Bunny Follows His Nose. I'm happy to see it's still in print. It's a "scratch and sniff" book, so little kids practice identifying different scents, but the bottom line of both book and play for me is: plan less, enjoy more!


Jo said...

I love that, that she started writing because a typewriter was delivered. It's just totally appealing.

Fred said...

I think I live along similar lines. I sometime make a decision, like quitting a job, with nothing lined up. I always know it will work out, and it's usually accompanied by a wonderful adventure.

So far, it's worked.

Chancy said...

Sounds like Serendipity to me.;)

ser·en·dip·i·ty (sĕrən-dĭp'ĭ-tē)

[From the characters in the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip, who made such discoveries, from Persian Sarandīp, Sri Lanka, from Arabic sarandīb.]

The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.
An instance of making such a discovery.