wide open

Things are changing.

Last year did not go as planned. I had my garden plans, I had plans for new tours at the Arboretum. I wanted to travel.  And pretty much all of those plans went straight out the window in February.  I spent a good part of the rest of the year, along with other things, bemoaning missed opportunities.

I like to think that I can easily adjust to change. I like to think that’s the case, anyway. But I’ve learned that, like most people I’m more content in what I know and what I’m used to. I don’t like life changing surprises. I like to have time to think about it, explore the negatives and the possibilities, and make a plan.  Then I’m ready for instant change.

It’s not exactly instant, is it?

When you throw a zinger at me, and need an immediate decision, my first internal response is “Oh crap!” Inside, it is panic time. Inside, I’m skating on marbles until I can find a clear place to put one foot down and the other. Then I can breathe; then I can find my way and focus.

So if that’s the way I really feel, if that’s how it really is, then why the sudden need to embrace and invite change?

I guess it’s exactly because last year was so unpredictable and because my plans for everything went out the window that I need to reset my thinking. Maybe it’s just time to do things differently, and be a little more open. Sometimes change happens and you have no choice.

It’s only the middle of January and I’ve already had two big changes this year already.

The first one: My nephew is moving back to Japan to teach. It’s for at least a year, possibly or probably longer. Chris has always been drawn to Japan. He has wanted to do exactly this, teach English in Japan, for at least 20 years (and he’s only 31). He’s gone to school in Japan. He’s briefly worked in Japan, in a corporate setting, but he’s never made the commitment to follow his dream.  He’s been at odds with himself this past year. He’s been doing a job he doesn’t like, living in a city he doesn’t like, and feeling like his soul is being sucked out of him.

He’s tried to change the result. He’s tried working with his boss to make changes at work. He’s tried looking for a job in the same field, but with a different company. He’s tried training in a new field, in the same town. Nothing worked. So he took a break. He spent time with me, spent time with friends, and did some volunteering back in Japan.

And his head cleared. He’s realized that he was living a life he thought he should live, and not one that he was passionate about. When he finally realize that, the pieces fell into place. He found a new job quickly, teaching English in Japan, which he starts in a few weeks. He’s excited about life again.

The second big change: My hubby, Greg (No, no, no, we are not getting a divorce). But, Greg is going back to night shift work. Graveyard, working 10 at night to 6:30 or 8:30 in the morning.

Greg is a night owl. He always has been and always will be. I am not.  Sometimes I try and figure out how we ever got together and all I can say, is that it was meant to be, in spite of the pile of opposite interests we both have.

For years he hasn’t worked the shift he loves. I know a lot of it he did for me. But I really think that you can only go against your true nature and passion, for just so long, before things have to change. Working a day shift has worn on him  In the short time Greg has been back on night shift, he’s more relaxed and happier. He’s more … Greg.

There are things I’m missing out on, with both of these decisions, but I’m trying to put a new mindset into motion. Having the two people I love the most do things that make them happy is a great thing. Sure I have to adapt. But I only have control over my own choices. This is isn’t easy for me to do; to focus my time and energy on only those things that I have the ability to change. I’m a worry wart by nature. But it’s empowering when I do get to that point during my day where I’m thinking in the now and experiencing it. I feel better and enjoy things more. I have more energy to give to others. What I’m realizing today is that with Chris being out of the country, and Greg working a different shift, my time is free to those things that bring me joy.

Truthfully, I’ve been a little hesitant to do this, because it means restarting those things that were put on hold last year. Last year’s plans are pretty much identical to this year’s plans. There is that thought that if I go forward with my plans they will get interrupted by an illness again. It’s a normal feeling, but not very inspiring.  It could happen, I suppose. But in my heart, I know if I sit around worrying about it, I won’t do those things I want to do. I will just shut down and wait for it to happen.

I’m not going to that.

My acceptance of change is to plan for change. To plan that things will probably not go as predicted, but that something better may happen. If I feel like going off script, I’ll do it. If I feel like doing the same thing, I do that too. I’m going to plan finish writing my tours, putter in my garden, start a nature journaling class, and then see what other things come up. Maybe it’ll be a cool vacation, or a new hobby. Maybe Avalanche, Greg, and I will find some new trails to hike, flowers to sniff, and games to play.

This year is about change and it’s wide open.











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