Before doghood, there were the eight hour bike rides; in the A.D. there are five mile walks and more time to write poetry on the couch while the yellow guy looks at squirrels out the window and daydreams of murder. I still pay attention to the plants, but I don't listen to their colors as closely as before; I'm thinking about what kind of chewable dog things can be chewed for how long and over-using semicolons. Also, constantly wondering if the kitchen trash has been accessed by an eating machine with no pause button. A quick name-call does not confirm or deny these fears. And here we are again, one slumped against a long section of couch, the other's nose to the glass. Adaptation is a curious thing. It breaks up the nature-nurture fight with a big red distraction; what about change vs. initial conditions vs. consciousness vs. environment is the what-aboutism that I'm talking about. It's a capability that corrects the attachment of -in' to gerunds when one passes the age of 30, most of the time, though possibly based on recent feedback about apostrophes. From whence to transformations derive! I shout into the void, avoiding any forthcoming answers as probably trite, ironic, taunting. Dread is skepticism about one's ability to thrive in an unknown situation (poorly paraphrased from Heather Havrilesky's book Foreverland). Adaptation is adjusting to unknown situations ways that eventually result in thriving. That's good stuff. How to make it happen: 1. Recognize that change has happened. 2. Identify what is different. 3. Develop a narrative connection between the previous situation and the current one. 4. Make the story fit your desires, strengths, and purposes. 5. Thrive. Voila, you can toss out all your self-help books. If you the world can change and you can change, you're pretty much going to be all right until death makes that final adaptation, the one you're not going to be able to 1. Recognize. Clearly a too-glib formula for how-to-live, but I'm feeling persuasive (and self-congratulatory) drinking late afternoon coffee on the couch with a dozing dog to my right. A cloudless fall day's impact on the late-shift leaves doesn't hurt. Back to regularly scheduled poem-crafting.