Problems of success

Recently someone used the phrase ‘problems of success’ in describing some problems they were having.  They said it was a step up to have problems of success rather than the other kind.  When my son got a job and the hours he was working did not mesh with my working hours and we only had one car, I was grateful that instead of the problem of him not having a job, we had a ‘problem of success’ on our hands.  It presented us with an opportunity for creative problem solving.  I had been wanting to take more public transportation, but it is easy to keep doing what is familiar until a situation forces you to change.  With gas prices it was less expensive to take public transportation, it was more sustainable, and it was more adventuresome.  It was something my son had been doing while going to school and working part-time  when there was a conflict with the car. His new job is close to full time and it turns out he goes to work earlier than I need to be at work, and gets off quite late.  He works from 3pm till almost midnight.  The bus either gets him there at 9:30 am or after 4 pm.  Not workable.  No bus gets him home that late either and hitch-hiking that late is not very reliable. Here was the situation that gave me the opportunity to make a change.  It reminded me of when I was a young adult living in San Francisco in the 70’s, arranging my life around bus schedules and figuring out things to do when I had extra time at one end or the other of those trips.

Sometimes my son got me to work early so I went downtown and strolled around, then walked the 15-20 minutes back to work.  It got me that exercise I kept thinking about and not doing.  I started sleeping better.  When I had to be at work later at night for an overnight shift  and the last bus out of the small town I live in got me there 4 hours early, I started going to the downtown theater and treating myself to a movie.  The first time I did this I ran into an old acquaintance who ended up at the movies on her own that night too.  We sat together and enjoyed the movie Super 8 while she shared her M & M’s with me.  I walked to work after enjoying the summer night air and starry Maxfield Parish blue sky.  Another time I invited a friend last-minute to go see Midnight in Paris and she dropped me off at work after.  It was sold out so we ended up sitting in the isle rather that ruin our necks in the front row.

I felt really adventurous when I had to transfer  3 times to get to work at my other job on the other side of San Rafael.  It ended up sounding much more complicated that it actually was and I was proud of myself.  Zack was off really late that night, so I took a bus back into San Rafael at 9 pm and went to a late movie at the downtown Avant Garde movie house.  The movie ended at 11:40 pm and he got there right about the time the movie got out.  I saw a foreign film I might have never seen.  It was a film out of Holland entitled Bride Flight. It reminded me of the kind of things I did when I was a young adult and fancy free.  Stayed up ridiculous hours and slept in the next day.  Of course, as luck would have it, I have a job that is late afternoon evening, so I could manage it.

As I approach 60 this year I am reminded of the character, Baron Munchausen from the film of the same name that came out in 1988 (I think).  At the beginning of the movie the Baron is old and depressed.  He claims the antidote for the decline of age is adventure.  Throughout the movie the more adventures he has, the younger and more vital he becomes.  I do believe that having adventures does help one stay young at heart and vital.   (I am not sure the Baron would agree with me but I think naps are quite important too.)  I embrace this new problem of success as an opportunity for adventure to keep me vital and flexible.


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