You know how you think your life is going to go one way, and then some stuff happens, and it goes a different way?

Or maybe you thought some day you'd be "all grown up" and receive that Adult Handbook and know how to do everything.

Either way, what a surprise to discover that you can--or must--continue to learn new skills and change directions in your 30s, 40s, and (dare I say it) 50s.

The May 2013 issue of Discover magazine contains (among other fascinating insights into our world) an article about an ornithologist (birds), Richard Prum, whose theories about beauty and evolution are worth reading for themselves. The writer, Veronique Greenwood, did a great job with questions that get to important information and great quotes.

So yes, go there and read this!

A sort of "sidebar" element of the story that captured my attention relates to the reason why Dr. Prum started studying bird feathers and display in the first place: he had to punt. From childhood, he'd developed expertise in identifying bird calls. In his adulthood, over just a few years, he lost enough hearing that his previous expertise was no  longer available to him. So he switched gears. Talk about resilience.

Speaking of "never thought I'd..." moments, I am speaking (yikes) soon about journaling. My audience: caregivers for those with Alzheimer's Disease. My purpose: to show how a journal can be a useful tool at various points along the journey, for various reasons.

I expect that no one who will be in the room would have said 20 years ago that they'd be a caregiver. In 1993, I wouldn't have imagined that I'd have writing experience, plus "caring for the caregiver" experience, to share. (To say nothing of imagining speaking to a room full of people I don't know, which is still something that sounds a lot better in June than it does as the scheduled date in October draws near.)

And yet, I have the experience, and I'm happy to share it, because the sharing of my experience helps give the experience itself meaning. Which I think is sort of what Faulkner meant when he said something like "The past isn't over; it isn't even past." Plus the sharing part helps me grow and stretch.

What expertise from your past have you outgrown (or has outgrown you)? What experience from your past can you share today in the hope of making someone else's journey easier?