Resilience . . .

  • The action or an act of rebounding or springing back; rebound, recoil. Obs.
  • The quality or fact of being able to recover quickly or easily from, or resist being affected by, a misfortune, shock, illness, etc.; robustness; adaptability.

I keep encountering the concept of resilience . . . in reading, in a sermon, online.  After reading a number of stories about people “springing back” after trauma, I was starting to believe that I just didn’t have any, or that it had been drilled out of me at a young age.  There are certainly many areas of my life in which I give up after the smallest failure or set back.

Just when I was sure that resiliency was either something one had or something one didn’t have (and that I just didn’t have it), I had the following “Aha!” experience:

I baked what must be at least my 30th loaf of gluten-free bread.  Like many loaves before it (though not all), it was a mess:

GF Vegan Sandwich BreadGF Vegan Sandwich Bread

I did what I could with it, and the result was this:

GF Vegan Sandwich BreadGF Vegan Sandwich Bread

Probably edible, I don’t know yet.

What I realized was that one area where I DO seem to have resilience is in cooking and baking.  I try and fail and modify and try again . . . and most of the time even the “failures” are edible.  Perhaps “resilience” isn’t a personality trait so much as a type of sign.  Perhaps the trick is to identify those areas in our lives in which we are willing to try and try again, even in the face of failure.  And perhaps, lack of resilience in a particular area is a sign that it really isn’t what we are meant to be doing . . .

I’ll be chewing on this thought some more . . . 🙂

Opening definitions from: “resilience, n.”. OED Online. March 2013. Oxford University Press. 30 April 2013 <>.

P.S.  I find it interesting that the definition of resilience now considered “obsolete” included the notion of “recoiling” . . . a reminder of the more mechanical and physical aspects of the term and a hint that it can be protective (as in recoiling from a dangerous thing) . . .