Trains are most vulnerable when they switch tracks.
Smooth locomotive change is a science of measurement and timing with little room for error.
Human track transitions are trial and error. Rarely executed gracefully.
It is a fact that the world keeps moving whether we hop over like Gene Kelly or face plant into a mouth of gravel.
Living is fluid and rest is temporary.
When I was a kid, I used to play jump rope at recess. Double-dutch.
I wasn’t a hot pick for kickball, and a girl could only trade so many stickers. Double-dutch was open to everyone, all I had to do was stand in line.
If I messed up, which was often, in the beginning, my turn was over. No excuses, back of the line. I would mumble to myself and replay my mistake in the hopes of being better next time.
Sweaty palms. One, two, one, two. I hopped in and eventually made it several rotations before something went wrong in the transition. A missed step, too fast, distracted, too full of myself.
So many switches are messed up by that last one, don’t you think?
I’ve got this. I’m an expert. I’m older, wiser. I can do this with my eyes closed.
Trip, stumble, sigh.
Not much happens on the long stretch of track, but every life, no matter how mundane, has change. That’s when we are the most tender. Feet off the ground for an instant while things shift or we eye the next rope. It’s in that moment of flux that we strive for the graceful hop and fear the terrifying drop of failure.
I have been working transitions my whole life. Schoolyard and big world. The same rules still apply.
Do not close your eyes.
Remember to count.
Move your ass.
You don’t have this. You do not know.
If you fall, get back in line and do better next time.
Trains rely on computers and protractors because if they miss the switch, they crash and burn. I’m sure they can rebuild too, but steel seems more challenging to put back in line.
It’s a good thing we’re human.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Switch Sides.