“And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to father time,” is the line with which Death Cab for Cutie opens their heart-wrenching ‘What Sarah Said.‘
Flexibility is a trait I have worked to cultivate in myself. Life has a habit of putting obstacles in front of even the best intentions or most perfect plans; this is a notion all writers rely on because it is precisely how stories happen, your characters set out to accomplish something, and are stopped along the way by circumstance.
Thus, flexibility is a somewhat unsung trait in a vast number of famous literary heroes. It is Bilbo’s adaptability that, time and again, helps him complete his journey there and back again. It works in tandem with a number of his more celebrated traits: his cleverness, his braveness, his hospitality. When a company of Dwarves show up uninvited at his house, he could well have called up the Shire Police Force (or, perhaps more accurately, didn’t round up an army of friends to force the intruders out) and had them kicked out. He went with the flow instead.
I will begin with the warning that this story is far less interesting than, say, the Hobbit. Which I mention because it is part of my excuse:
Saturday and Sunday, I had shifts scheduled and plans with my girlfriend. We had made loose plans to go running together; instead, we wound up unintentionally taking a nap and watching the Hobbit. Which means, I went on Monday. The relationship itself is still new and exciting to me, but it’s also a novel concept to me to have to balance something like running with something else like spending time with someone special.
Flexibility means that not going out for a run is not a failing. It’s just going to be something I fit in later. Whenever I can, with my hectic schedule…
Flexibility is also necessary to runners, because stretching is an important part of your exercise routine. Even if you still don’t know what you’re doing.
That all said, it was really hard, come Monday morning, not to simply procrastinate on the run until Tuesday.