The Times, They Are A-Changing

As much as I like to think of myself as adventurous and open to new things, I really don’t do well with change. Sure, I do a bit of rolling with punches and I have also been known to go with the flow on occasion, but change is definitely high up there on the infinite list of Things That Scare Me. (I am such a baby!)

That said, there are many changes taking place in my life right now. Some of these changes are pretty small and insignificant in the scope of a lifetime (e.g. I get my hair cut on Wednesday morning!), but others are much bigger and carry the potential for a fundamental shift in perspective and lifestyle (see: everything to do with Robertina’s recent diagnosis). Some of these changes feel like they will be adding something to my life and enriching it (e.g. making a commitment to write more and more often), whereas other changes are more painful and feel like they are slowly tugging away at things I would rather hold on to for a bit longer still (butter!!).

I often measure the magnitude of change in my life by assessing my desire to curl up into a ball and hermit myself away. Lately, I’m lucky if I feel like doing anything besides eating steamed kale and watching The Bachelor the Olympics on TV (confessions of a cool girl), so there’s definitely some big things happening right now (or a combination of smaller things that feel big because they’re all happening at the same time). Luckily, I’ve finally learned to stave off the alarming sense that the proverbial ground is giving way beneath my feet by making sure that certain things in my day-to-day existence stay absolutely routine and positively in my control. Believe me: this helps. A lot.

So I am eating the same thing for breakfast almost every morning, taking the same walking route to/from work every day, and even listening to the same CD over and over again at the office (Ultra, by Depeche Mode, for those of you who wonder). When I get to work, I make a cup of Egyptian Licorice tea. I take my break at 10 am. I make another cup of tea (something fruity, if I must) at 11 am. Lunch is at 12:30 and it usually involves kale. I look forward to a Vanilla Hazelnut tea in the mid-afternoon. Everything during the work day is pretty much the same, save for a few small elements to zest things up every now and then (but not too much!). And then I only have to weather the ebbs and tides that harken all of these changes in the evenings…

I know it sounds is rather OCD of me to try to curb the thrilling! devastating! (but possibly miniscule!) effects of change in my world by micro-managing other aspects of my life, but seriously: if I don’t have roots somewhere (anywhere!), I’m pretty hopeless. To make a cheesy analogy: I’m fine going with the flow, but only so long as I am securely tethered to some kind of raft. You know? I can’t change everything (or have everything change) all at once, even if all of the changes are for the better.

It’s only taken 28 short years for me to recognize, acknowledge, and accept this tendency about myself. But hey, at least I recognize it now. And if a bowl of oatmeal with fruit and freshly ground flax seeds is all it takes to keep me sane, I think the world has got itself a pretty sweet deal.  

3 responses

  1. I like what you’re saying because good habits can have good results and bad habits -bad results. It’s when we feel a ‘slave to habit’ that the time has come for a shake-up.
    There is nothing wrong with doing what brings you a sense of comfort, and I’ll bet there are some things you even purposely do differently jsut for the sake of variety alone. That brings another type of comfort in discovering and seeking out boundaries so we can feel ‘on the edge’ as well.
    I’ve always liked the expression “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space”. Often that just means stretching our wings along the way.

  2. I cannot agree with you more. My first tendency is to retreat to my room and absorb myself in small activities that make me happy. My room is my sanctuary. Which is why I fear for if/when I get married and have to share a room! Where will I go to be alone?

    Besides, sometimes it helps just to let the Change sit on the back burner for a while as you ignore it and go on with your everyday life, and then as you slowly get used to the idea of it being there, it gets easier to deal with.

    If you’re anything like me, the only thing worse than change is unforeseen change! Now I’m all curious as to what this mysterious change is. Don’t keep us in suspense for too long!

  3. Wow, we are totally similar. Need I mention how long it took and how I’ve suffered moving over to the island? Getting married? Changing my name? (Actually I really enjoyed the last one.)

    I hear you though – change is hard. When I find myself getting into a routine that is feeling “too routine” I remember a saying “Do one thing a day that scares you” and I try to remember that. Even if it’s something really small like jay-walking on your way to work. Or something big like signing up for a course.

    I too am super curious about your change.

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