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.