Monday, January 25, 2010

Living in Plan B

Perhaps the meaning of wisdom
is reaching that stage in life
where you can stay calm
when the first plan goes out the window
replaced by some unexpected catastrophe or crisis.

Priorities turn on a dime.
Being able to let go of the first set of plans
and to pick up the new reins
and to move forward
into the unexpected future...
ultimately the challenge we all face.

The second part of wisdom
is finding community
who likewise change gears
pick up loose ends
brainstorm and watch your back
while engaging the shifting realities.

There is nothing more powerful
than being part of a team,
be it family, coworkers, church or friends,
who rally together
work together
and offer mutual support
while moving on through
the alphabet of plans.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Third Place

Last night I watched the director's commentary
to "You've Got Mail."
Throughout the commentary
and the special additions on the DVD
Nora Ephron demonstrated her love
of the "small town" nature of New York City
and of the importance of third places.

The idea of the third place
comes from the work of Ray Oldenburg,
who states that we have our first and second places
of home and work,
but that cultures thrive best when people
have a third place to go and to claim.

Nora Ephron shared her belief that coffee shops
had become important third places for city people.

Traditionally, third places have been pubs, cafes, churches,
anywhere that people can relax and interact and
form real social connections.
I believe at one point she identified third places
as places "where people can fall in love."

I've been thinking about my third places
and their importance in my life.

My church, particularly my Sunday School class.
My neighborhood Mexican restaurant,
where they know my name
and my drink order.

People need third places
to keep us engaged with the outside world,
to provide us with interaction with people
outside our work and outside our family.

I like the idea.

The link at the top of this blog leads to further information on Ray Oldenburg and his ideas.