Fall, Imminence, and Change

hello fallThere’s something about the imminence of fall that just gets my gears going (in a good way). Suddenly, I got my game face on and I’m crocheting again, and blogging, and reading, and being a contributing member to society. Why fall? Especially when fall is usually the time when my brain starts going to mush and my soul starts getting sluggish because winter is coming (you have to whisper that word). I even read an article this week about how this winter is predicted to be even worse than last winter.

Sweet Jesus, have mercy.

But let’s not think about that. Let’s go into our happy place of Pumpkin Spice Lattes (HELLO, I HAVE MISSED YOU!), spicy smelling candles, cool breezes, pants, and cozy sweaters but no need of a coat yet. Automne, je t’aime.

Imminence & Change

W and I have been thinking a lot about change and imminence lately, mostly related to becoming parents. When else in life do you have to wait a long time for a change that WILL come? Even with marriage, graduation, etc. there’s the (unfortunate) slight chance it wont happen. But at this point, I will give birth. Thanks to modern medicine there’s almost no chance we’d lose the baby in the process.

So we sit here and wait, try to expect and prepare for the inevitable. It’s kind of a mind game.

We did our wedding a little non-traditionally. We had a morning service, lunch reception, no dancing party or anything. When the MCs invited my parents up to give their parental speeches, my mother shot me surprised look and a glare and mouthed the words, “You didn’t tell me I was doing a speech!”

She was right. I had assumed. She knows convention and tradition. I had confirmed with my dad, but not my mom. Later, mom explained that because we had done enough things differently, she didn’t assume anything would be the same. Oops.

But no one at the wedding had any idea my mom composed her Mother of the Bride speech on the spot. I wish I had it on video because that was the best speech that has ever been winged.

A year later, my older brother was about to get married and I get a text from my mom thanking me for forgetting to tell her about the speech part of my wedding. The imminence of her delivering a speech at her first-born son’s wedding was eating her alive. She had been up at 4AM most nights trying to think of what she would say.

I can adapt pretty easily; I think it’s one of the positive sides of having moved so many times as a kid. But staring down the barrel of a proverbial gun to watch change come at you is a bit of a different animal.

So now, I’m trying to enjoy the things that have not yet changed: like being able to get 8h of sleep, do what I want (mostly) whenever I want, and not having someone depend on me for their entire existence.

Building habits when you love change

I was texting with my mom today and she was asking me how I was doing being away from home for so long. I kind of laughed it off and blamed her for turning me into someone who gets antsy when I’m any one place too long. We moved a lot growing up. I’m fairly sure that’s turned me into someone who craves a change of scenery every so often. I haven’t lived consistently 12 months-in-a-row in one place in over 10 years. Last summer we spent a month of the summer in Florida, then two weeks away from home in Canada. The summer before that we spent a month in Paris. The summer before that I spent a bunch of time all over. You get the idea. Even at work, about every three months I’m itching for even a slight change.

I’ve learned to love habit and routine. It’s a little bit of normal in a whole lot of change. Change I like, change I choose, but change nonetheless. These daily habits help me adjust. They’re predictable. This summer few things are predictable except that I load the dishwasher and run it after lunch and before bedtime. The TV is off all day long until 7 or 8PM and then my in-laws turn it on and watch it until they go to bed. I have a coffee at 1PM. These are some predictable things.

It’s possible I’m a weird genre of people who like change. At times the comfort derived from habits borders on OCD. Eg: Willy will try and get me to walk a different way to work and I get weird. It makes me crazy (thanks to The Power of Habit I understand why!). I walk  one way to the metro in the morning and a different way back from work. That’s just how I do it.

Keep at it

Despite the fact that I find comfort in these routines, when there’s so much change it can take a lot of work to rebuild routines or start new ones. For the first few weeks here I had a morning routine that I was enjoying. I have no idea what derailed it but I haven’t done it in easily a month. Now I’m trying to go back and restart it. It will take some effort at first. The momentum will come as I enjoy the routine. I will feel less and less like I’m working at it.

But it’s almost a fact in my life that some sort of change will come up in my life, there will be another blip on the radar and I’ll have to fight for consistency. It’s predictable. It’s almost a routine in itself. Fail. Start up again. Succeed. See things start to nosedive. Correct. Succeed. Fail again if I’m not giving it the attention it requires, or if I’m stressed or something.

It’s a pattern I’ve noticed and I’m working on.

Are you someone who likes a lot of change? Are you able to form good habits despite your enjoyment of change?

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