Monday, March 2, 2009

re-a-ranging

Today I was reminded of how quickly, and subtley, change can creep into our lives. It can be a major blow that knocks us off our feet and causes us to revamp everything immediately out of sheer survival. A smash & dash blow that comes from nowhere, like a tornado, wreaks its havoc and leaves nothing in its wake. I almost prefer this type of change because the destruction is obvious. You have no choice but to stop, regroup and rebuild. Ah, but there is another type of change: the elusive cousin of the smash & dash tornado is the creeper. A slow brewer that stealthly follows you, waiting for the opportune time to infiltrate, and then sneaks off like a thief in the night. You don't even realize it has been there until one day you notice the change and you, perplexed, ponder, what on earth happened?

The creeper is life. Life is what happens while you're waiting for something else. All is well, all is fine - a subtle change comes into your life and before you know it, what you knew and believed in and enjoyed, has become something totally different.

This happens with tried and true friends, fun distractions we enjoyed regularly, activities we evoked into our lives, daily interactions with people who made us laugh... the daily telephone call is replaced with a weekly email, then an occassional joke, to eventually an annual holiday card. Reading books for fun, watching a favorite TV show, going for a walk around the block, watching rain fall while standing on a covered porch... things we marveled in as we did them, things we appreciated with passion, things we thought we'd always make time for just, one day, slowly over time, fall away.

It makes me sad. But it also reminds me that the only constant is change. And how important it is to know how to adapt to change when you see it coming, and when you don't. Do you panic? Do you pick up the pieces and move on? Do you step over the pieces and leave them behind completely and walk away? When this happens, stop and take stock. Decide what you need to go back and get, or what you can turn your back on.

Then rearrange. And move forward.

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