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The Newcomer

What's next?

by Frances Potts

Isn't life exciting? Just when you think you know what to expect, life throws you a curve. Sometimes pleasant, sometimes definitely not, but my toughest times have taught me the most helpful lessons.

I'm a firm believer that this is exactly what life is all about-learning through a wide vareity of experiences. It's the way I've stretched beyond where I ever expected to go.

When I find myself thinking 'why the heck is this happening to me?', I know I'm being given an opportunity to learn one more thing or overcome another failing or weakness in myself.

Certain situations, in which I've seen the light and mended my ways, are seldom, if ever, repeated. When they are, I call them tests and hope I pass this time.

On the other hand, those lessons I resist just keep popping up to challenge me. One oft-repeated lesson-presented in various guises-has to do with developing patience. You'd think I'd be smart enough to buckle down and absorb this prickly lesson, if only to make it go away. But, while I am getting better, I still have a long way to go before I consider myself a patient woman.

I accept that I am on a lifelong voyage through experiences sent to teach me how to be a better person. But, if this trip is intended to end in perfection, I'm afraid I'm going to be one very old broad.

This struggle up an imaginary ladder to perfection is the core of the reincarnation theory espoused by some people. I suppose it could be comforting to think that, if you don't get it right this time around, you can have another chance in another life. Comforting, but realistic? I've never met a perfect person and, over the ages, you'd think someone would have climbed to the top of that ladder!

As for me, one trip through this vale of tears and laughter will suffice. However, impatience prompts me to admit I can't wait for the next surprise life springs on me. I hope I'm up to the challenge.

. Frances Potts is a retired journalist who spent her career working at several newspapers in Washington state.

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