From the Back Nine: Adapting

  • Wednesday, May 1, 2019 1:30am
  • Opinion

I believe this is going to be an article about life gone awry and learning to deal with it. We’ll see. These things have a way of changing horses mid-stream.

When you are young, you are likely to be dumped a time or two. Your reaction will depend on whether you are the dumper or the dumpee. At the moment, I’m thinking of the one whose heart is broken. You know it will never mend. You will never recover. This is the nadir of your life.

I don’t intend to demean this; pain at any age is very real. The problem is that you have not lived long enough to know that, in fact, you will adapt. Often, in very little time, you will strengthen enough to know that love-of-your-life was a waste-of-your-time. You might even notice his/her weak chin, abrasive laugh, annoying sniffles, and wonder what on earth you ever saw in him/her to begin with. And you have to admit, you saw trouble on the horizon all along.

You are well on your way to maturity. Life is often about learning to put up with it.

But. There is that other kind of sucker punch. If you have any gray on your head, you’ve probably suffered through it more than once. The crash … the natural disaster … the phone call … the diagnosis. In the blink of an eye, a horrible change changes everything. You are leveled, so wintered in yourself that you may never look up again.

Age has taught me one thing to hang onto when you are in the deepest valley: Remember all the way back to when you were dumped. What you learned then, you can use now. You will adapt. If you can make yourself believe in that, it will help you move one foot in front of another.

There will be another side to this agony. You will never be the same, but the person you become may even learn something of value about yourself.

During the winter storm, our heavy old board fence blew over, landing on a small tree. In time we hauled away the fence as a total loss. But that young tree? It has straightened up, thrust out its slender limbs and bloomed with the joy of a magician’s Ta-Dah!

TS Eliot said that April is the cruelest month with all its misguided messages of hope. But at least this year in our yard, April hit us with a blast of renewed life. The signs are everywhere.

You will adapt, just like that young tree.

Linda B. Myers is a founding member of Olympic Peninsula Authors and author of the PI Bear Jacobs mystery series. Her novel, “The Slightly Altered History of Cascadia,” is available at Contact her at or

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