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Understanding Patterns

"Understanding of life begins with the understanding of patterns."

-Fritjog Capra

I was in the audience at the Comedy Cellar in NYC, when comedian Keith Robinson told the crowd that his reflexes have slowed. When younger, he would check out a young lady and if she turned to catch him, he would quickly turn away. But now that he's older, when a woman turns to see who's eyeing her, Robinson is unable to react as quickly. In fact, his neck stiffens up, preventing him from nonchalantly turning his head. So he's caught in the act of staring, like a dear in headlights; or more like a creepy guy in headlights.

In my 50's, I've noticed that my reflexes have also sulked a little. For example, I've dropped my cellphone a couple of times, misjudging shelf space or desk. I've come close to dropping a plate or cup. Backing up from my driveway, I am slower at reacting to crossing cars. Friends have told me that I look young for my age. I say, I may not look my age, but I certainly drive my age.

There can be beauty in change.

"Change is not a threat. It's an opportunity. Survival is not the goal. Transformative success is." -Seth Godin

An IQ test once told me that I have a high appreciation for patterns. So, how could I possibly ignore the pattern that is staring me in the face? Is this pattern of slower reflexes a reason for concern? It can become a problem, if I don't address it. Perhaps my mishaps is life telling me it's time to adjust a knob or two. So now when I set the phone on a table or shelf, I won't take for granted that my phone will land where I've aimed. And instead of tossing my keys into a bowl, maybe I'll just place them down.

Does it depress me that life is apparently dropping orange cones or speed bumps onto my path? No, I'm actually learning to embrace the beauty of change. If I'm old enough to see myself age, then I'm a lucky girl to have made it this far. So, I study my current pattern with more curiosity then with reluctance. I'm kind of cradling it.

Not all patterns are good. But recognizing them could help us better adjust.

I have a friend, whom I've noticed has been a bit more argumentative in the last couple of years. At least three times, this friend has engaged in combative arguments with others. I observe that there might be some deep-seeded emotions that have her lashing out, and possibly at the wrong targets or without warrant. Conceivably, she needs to unbraid her emotions and identify root or triggers. Her pattern of emotional outbursts could be the result of a larger boulder that's keeping her emotions off balance.

One of my young relatives has, on several occasions, blocked friends or acquaintances on social media and cellphone. I was direct in suggesting that if she blocks the same person a third or fourth time, maybe said pattern is telling her that she (my friend) could be part of the problem.

What about you? Have you noticed patterns that might require a conversation? For example, are you overspending? Do you keep choosing the wrong romantic partner? Do you choose partners that need "fixing"? Are you having problems sleeping? Do you change jobs often? Do you engage in road rage? These are examples of patterns that might warrant some unstitching.

If you've owned a sewing machine, you're likely familiar with JOANN Fabrics store. There, one can pick up a pattern that maps out the cuts needed to sew together a shirt, dress or pants. Patterns are important not just for sewing, but in understanding life. Patterns can help us see and form the larger picture.

Seeing a clear picture of what's going on around us or within us can help us better navigate the road in front of us, or ahead. We may not have to unstitch ourselves completely. Maybe just a tuck here or there will help.

For chuckles, you can watch comedian Keith Robinson talk about his slowed reflexes on the following link: (language)

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They say that finding patters is the essence of wisdom. If that's the case, you may be the wisest of us all Ms. Ordaz :P

I hope you continue to find beauty in change and appreciation for all the patterns of life, big or small.

Oh, and a special person took me to my first show at Comedy Cellar. Loved it.

Rosa Valle-Lopez
Rosa Valle-Lopez
Sep 09, 2021
Replying to

Thank you for appreciating my message and for your kind feedback. Yes, aren’t comedy shows the best! We should all embrace a pattern of laughter.

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