Coping with Change

Fall

I’ve been a Bad Blogger of late. Change has been an intruder at my house, and frankly, pissing me off.

Friends under thirty, begin paying more attention to your true passions. Use them as touchstones when change becomes overwhelming.

I used to be the poster child for change, shifting gears to navigate any obstacle in my path. Marriage imploding? Clean up the mess, cut the ties, and move on. Job downsizing? Didn’t love it anyway. On to the next. Apartment burning to the ground? Easiest move ever. Didn’t need that old stuff anyway.

Starting over can be liberating. But with years speeding by faster than ever, I find myself reaching for touchstones to steady myself.

Earlier this year, my ever-faithful, seventeen-year- old car had become a money pit. I was emotionally attached to this car. I’d lived a whole other life in this car and could tell the story behind every scratched and ding. After I lost my other possessions to divorce and disaster, my car was my only keepsake, like a scrapbook. My husband joked that we could put it on blocks in the backyard so I could visit. But I’ve never been one to hang on to the old. But I needed to prepare for the big release. This “talking myself into letting go” of the old car took two years.

Seven months later, I have yet to develop an earnest relationship with the new car. It’s transportation. I’m grateful for its proper function – it carries me where I need to go safely. But I don’t feel as if it’s part of me, like the last one. My old car had become a touchstone.

Don’t allow things to become touchstones.

Decades of washing clothes without computer technology had me mentally preparing myself for the change. My new washer gave me the eye like the truck in the movie Duel.  I needed it. It did not need me. But sadly, it was stuck with me. I approached it like a person whose help I needed, and it behaved. But I still wouldn’t call us friends.

With technology, change is always around the corner. Soon I will be forced to upgrade my computer, my cell phone, and other appliances. And I will need to mentally prepare for each change.

Hey, George Clooney just got married when he swore for years he’d never do it again. Imagine the rethinking he did.

But what was really going on?

If my external environment was a reflection of my internal being, what was the big picture?

I had to face it. I was getting older. The mirror reminded me that my exterior no longer matched my interior. And I hated that. In my mind, I am forever thirty, and have not yet made friends with my older self. But it has become clear that my likes and dislikes have firmly taken root – characteristic of an old person. My tolerance for change is not as pliant as it used to be. Knowing the inevitable does not make it easier to accept. But I refuse to be an old person, longing for things from my past. I’m wiser than that.

People you love will leave your life as well. What will sustain you after they are gone?

Friends under thirty, find your passions and use them as touchstones – interests and desires that you can reach for (or are worth fighting for) when change becomes overwhelming. Not people or trinkets, but something that no one can take away from you, no matter how old you live to be.

I will always have endless passion for literature, cinema, food, art, nature, music, psychology, and the great mystery that is the occult. As long as I have those things to reach for and be curious about, I can deal with any change, even if it comes with a craftier computer.

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