DSC_0312Adaptations I

Photo: Monarch butterfly … most likely. 🙂

Many consider the tasty viceroy butterflies’ mimicry of the color of the poisonous monarch butterfly to be an adaptation. This adaptation helps protect the viceroy from being gobbled by hungry birds…

My dishwasher is now my best friend.

It wasn’t always this way. You see, at one point in time, I figured that as a single women raised in a drought-stricken area, I could do the sensible thing and wash the plates and cups by hand. Fill up a sink, drizzle of colorful soap, swirl dish in soapy water … good to go. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still all for saving water. But now, I sometimes have a limited amount of time and energy. The dishwasher isn’t that much more inefficient than me on a slow day, anyway. Into the dishwasher the dirty dishes go, hey presto, they’re clean, and I can just grab them from the nice, no-stretching-and-lifting-above-my-head racks. Adaptation.

Elevators are a gift from a saint called Otis.

It wasn’t always this way. I figured that the energy for an elevator could be better spent elsewhere, that it should be saved for those who really needed it or to reach levels above, say, ten stories. As buildings above ten stories have not been a major part of my life, that approach worked. But now, I’m sometimes too tired to take the stairs. I’m too uncoordinated to manage the slick steps and short railings of the steep flights in some of the buildings I navigate every day. I’m too green to handle the twirls, switchbacks, and narrow landings. At least if I make a humiliating mess of sick in an elevator at a college, I can blame it on a drunk undergrad, right? No??? Oh well. But there are elevators, and I take them. Adaptation.

Clean clothes are in the laundry basket. Dirty clothes are on the floor. “Ironing” is under a pile of heavy books.

It wasn’t always this way. Laundry was on a schedule. Clothes were neatly pressed. But now, not so much. Life’s Too Short To Fold Your Underwear was a book given to me by a friend. I actually do fold my underwear. Doesn’t mean that I haven’t now gone out and bought a whole lot more of it, because instead of running loads once a week, or even every two, if I’m really hurting, or meds are being changed, or there’s some social event that I really want/need to attend that will take my energy, or any other combination of a lot of other things, the laundry may not get done. Less is not more when it comes to drawers. And yeah, clean laundry may sometimes sit awhile before I get around to folding it. Adaptation.

It wasn’t always this way. But it is now. I tell myself: Accept. Adapt. Survive. Butterflies do. There’s no shame in becoming orange with black veining instead of some other color if it keeps you alive. Butterflies do, and they still fly free.

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