winging it

Most of the time winging it can be a good thing.  By that I mean, in most relatively safe circumstances, winging it involves taking yourself out of your comfort zone.  And when you are outside the comfort zone, something magical happens, the zone stretches.

It’s a neuron synapse thing.  When you do something new, when you decide to wing it or actually ‘wing it’, the result is stimulation of the neurons.  They get excited and they grow a little.  The more they grow, the more they connect with other neurons.

Winging it might involve starting a new side business (that you have no experience with) or simply making a decision to do something that you’ve not done before (then doing it).  So ‘winging it’ is that initial spark, or decision, to do something new which then may involve the process of doing it.  You wouldn’t jump out of an airplane without instruction or run a marathon without training, but committing to either would involve a ‘winging it’ decision. The ensuing process of newness creating beneficial synapses.

Generally, safely winging something creates a net positive impact.  Stimulation begets creative juices, which creates more creative juice.  As long as we channel the results of ‘winging it’ in a general positive direction, we are doing ourselves a favor.

The other day I went to a banquet sponsored by a club to which I belong.  During the regular club meetings, most members have a chance to stand up in front of the group and ‘wing it,’ responding to a specific question asked of them at the time of being called.  ‘Winging it’ is a one to two minute response that should consist of a coherent opening, body and conclusion.  You could be asked to describe your favorite vacation and why, or to describe how you would be feel if you were a cow.

Since banquets are infrequent, I decided to go for a ‘winging it’ opportunity.  But the banquet was in a Thai restaurant, where there were other patrons.  No chance to ‘wing it.’  There were more than 30 of us — an interesting cross section of folks — small business owners, doctors, large business peons, the gamut.

There was nothing about the Thai restaurant that looked or smelled Thai.  Not even the wait staff.  As we all chatted and waited for food, they finally brought out large bowls of fried chicken wings.  I swear I was thinking of this earlier in the day.  Just about everyone dug in immediately.  Each bowl had about 20 wings (I counted).  There were six bowls.  That’d be 120 wings by my higher math calculations, equal to 60 birds clipped on each side.

What I had been thinking earlier in the day (maybe I had seen a wings sign), was the oddity of sitting down to just wings, or any specific body part for that matter.  It’s like saying, “whack that chicken and just give me the wings.”  In this case, “whack about 60 birds and bring us wings only.  We have a special need for winging it.”

Of course we know that in our world of mass produced flesh, chickens are not “sacrificed” for wings only.  The fact that there are “breast people” and “thigh folks” make the distribution of body parts in bulk a rational possibility.  But still, the idea of eating wings from a wing bowl is a non-appealing concept.  Whack the chicken and bring the entire bird, ok, I’ll eat a wing and maybe another part (although I’d need to smother those bits of chicken in peanut sauce to get them down).

Out of the 30 plus folks in our group, only two others beside myself didn’t wing  it.  I believe the other two were vegetarians.  Everyone else was gobbling down wings like there weren’t enough.  And sure enough there weren’t.  “Mister Thai restaurant person, please whack more fowl and bring the wings.”  Someone must have called for more.

In the end, I had my chance to ‘wing it’ that day after all, but passed it up.

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