An ancient Greek philosopher once said that you can’t step in the same river twice. An even wiser philosopher came up with the idea that you can’t even step in the same river once because the river was in a constant state of change.
We humans are fairly resistant to change. We like constancy. We like routine. But that isn’t the way that life works at its fundamental roots. That might seem like a statement of the obvious, but as we grow more comfortable in our lives we grow less tolerant of changes in our comfort level.
I had a lot of time over the weekend to think about change. With the exception of a trip to the emergency room on Friday night (because I couldn’t breathe and couldn’t stop coughing), I spent most of my time in bed with bronchitis. I thought about my father-in-law and the changes in my life as a result of his passing. I thought about my aunt who passed just three days after my father-in-law. I thought a lot about my work and the demands it places on me, and how I need to make changes there to get my writing life back on track. I thought about the changes that are hurtling toward me with a frightening inevitability: my daughter’s graduation from high school, my mother-in-laws increasing need for care, my son’s upcoming 16th birthday.
At work a key member of our administration resigned and another is retiring at the end of the month. Last night, my husband’s 95-year-old uncle passed away, and it’s a safe bet his 91-year-old wife will not be far behind.
I found myself today thinking that a little bit of stability would be nice; a little bit of dull, boring sameness would be good for just a little while. I think God must laugh at thoughts like this. There’s no guarantee that you get calm, peaceful, or boring at any time. The only guarantee you get is that change will be guaranteed.
Maybe it’s because I’m in a reflective mood. Maybe it’s because so much is changing in my life. Maybe it’s because I’m taking cough syrup with Codeine in it (hmmm). I’ve decided that wishing for boring is a waste of time (duh) and maybe I’m better served by acknowledging that change is what life is actually all about. I’m better served by embracing change, seeking change, and welcoming change because trying to fight it is like trying to teach your cat to knit.
It’s funny what happens when you give in to the universe – it tends to cooperate a little more with you. It’s a good time to welcome change. Spring is arriving, and there are all those obvious references to rebirth and what not. This weekend is daylight savings time again (the whole “Spring Forward” thing, which I think is stupid, but I guess I can’t fix it), and it’s the end of the quarter and a month from now I’ll be teaching all new classes with new students.
I’m welcoming change, and I’m looking for new changes that will make my life better. It’s much easier this way anyway. Why fight the flow of the river?