Tag Archives: change

The Constant of Change

Change is inevitable. Until it’s not. At the moment, there’s a progression of time where things are at a nice constant. But I’m afraid to even think this, as I know change is around the bend, in the backyard, up the hill, at the corner coffee shop.

Right now my work dynamic is ideal. It has not always been this way in jobs prior. I get along beautifully with my coworkers; I’m greeted with genuine cheerfulness every day I walk into the learning center’s glass doors. “Writing Island”, as I came to name it, is a space where our seasoned writing mentor, my aged experience, and the fresh innocence of a student worker meshes oddly organically in our oval area in the middle of the center, against the backdrop of exposed blinds and student activity. We muse over 80’s films, books we want to write, and regular students we’ve embraced in our daily, weekly, yearly tutoring sessions.

But at some point this dynamic will change. The student worker will move on to another university or opportunity. The mentor may eventually land the faculty role he wants. I may be then thrust into his position, mentoring a new set of coworkers.

I mentioned a coffee shop. There was this corner coffee shop I’d go to twice a week. Initially I went there out of convenience (I could bike there and it was also on my way to work). There I discovered the best peanut butter banana smoothie I’d ever had. Sometimes I’d grab and go. Other times I’d sip and stay, either sitting outside on a bench in the sun, or inside where regulars and staff chatted about music and school and word puzzles and eventually became like a communal family. My teenage son would sometimes meet me there for lunch after his classes. Then the owner decided to sell the shop, unfortunately to some idiots. Now the shop sits empty. The tables and kitchen appliances are still there, but the people aren’t. I’ve visited other smoothie/coffee shops. There are some tasty peanut butter banana smoothies out there and some friendly baristas, but they cannot compare. It is not the communal feel of my beloved corner store.

In my backyard there are all kinds of plants I’ve cultivated over the years, including the sturdy Queen palm, fragrant Cape jasmine, and hearty Asparagus fern. Through the wet and dry seasons and changing position of the sun, I’ve managed to keep them all alive. The metal patio table under the loquat tree has harbored its share of various friends and family and guests. Some will come back soon. Others maybe a year from now. A few, forever a memory.

I’ve always said I don’t particularly like change. It’s scary and it can come out of nowhere, like a job lay-off or the death of a loved one. It can also creep in slowly, like the phases of your child’s life, or the bearing of loquat fruit. It is inevitable. And at some point acceptance is our savior. Fighting is futile. Sometimes change just sucks. It’s unfair. But if we let it guide us to other experiences, learned lessons, new discoveries, then the scariness looses at least some of its grip on the constant of change.


Filed under Observations

Loose Change

Sometimes I wake up with a heaviness in my heart. It could be the previous night’s dream. It could be some energy in the world that is off-kilter. It could be an argument I had or dwelling on mistakes I made. It could be that my kid is growing up too fast. It could be all these things. Disturbances. Change. I don’t do change well.

Yesterday I found a penny at the bottom of the washing machine. Loose change from one of our pockets. Now washed and shiny. I threw it in the garbage. I don’t make a habit of tossing anything that can be used again. I think I was just in robot mode.

My mom-in-law is moving to another state today. End of an era. Bittersweet. I will most certainly write a post about it.

Our favorite crossing guard had to retire for health reasons. The morning bike ride is not the same.

My favorite kickboxing partner is joining the Navy. Who will I make goofy faces at while we do the warm-ups?

I can cry about this heaviness, these changes, and maybe I have. Maybe the other day I had a full-out bawl session on a fishing pier while listening to The Cure on my iPod and watching the pelicans glide in the sky. Maybe I cried so hard and so much my tears didn’t taste like salt anymore.

The heaviness subsided as it usually does with a good cry. But there is always space for it there to come back. My heart has so much room yet it’s bursting at the proverbial pericardium. And maybe that’s what I was crying about most. “This is not a curse,” I can hear some of you say. And perhaps it isn’t. Perhaps it’s a gift. And with the loving comes the hurting. And with the change comes the progress.

My mom-in-law will get even more of the specialized attention she demands after she moves. The crossing guard can begin to repair her lungs now that she’s not breathing in automobile exhaust. My favorite kickboxing partner will move on to a new stage and adventure in her life and see and do things I can barely imagine.

And as for all these other occurrences and disturbances in life well, that is just what it is. Life.

Next time I find a penny I will put it with the other loose change. I’ll save it until it needs to be exchanged. And I’ll let it slip through my fingers leaving its seasoned metallic scent behind.



Filed under Observations