Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Forced Change

While there are a lot of ways in which we might embrace change, we are also often very resistant to it.  We fuss and fight and do our best to stay in our little bubble of safety.  And when we are thrust out of it, even when we are being pushed towards something we have already acknowledged as a goal, we are very uncomfortable and try to avoid the inevitable, instead of embracing it.

I saw a cartoon a while back (which I searched and searched for, but couldn't find), that showed a seed underground.  It's shell starts to crack, and the seed starts freaking out, saying things like, "What is happening?" or "What's going on?"  Then, the seedling pushes through the surface of the earth and is out in the air, and it looks around and says, "Hmmm..."  The seedling always looks a bit miffed to me, like it was expecting something horrible, and instead the situation was pleasant, and it wasn't quite sure how to respond to that.

I think we are often like that little seed.  We are so comfortable in our shell, and when it starts to crack, we may try to shore it up, to fix it and to stay all balled up and tight in our tiny little space.  But sometimes, you can't fight life, and we end up cracking and growing and pushing through to a whole new existence, and while we were in the process it was terrifying and we were sure it was going to be horrible, but then we realize it's really not so bad (and possibly even a good thing).

The problem with staying in our shell is there is no space to grow or stretch.  It's like being stuck in a rut, no matter how hard you try to get moving, your wheels just keep spinning and you go nowhere.

I've been feeling like this a lot lately.  So much of my life feels like a never-ending cycle sometimes.  It can feel like I finish one thing, only to have to turn around and start on the next one immediately!  Done eating dinner, need to figure out what to cook tomorrow.  Finished a blog post, well another one next week.  Set my daily many are the same as yesterdays? 

I am a creature of habit and routine, because it works for me.  Knowing I clean on Thursdays and Sundays means I don't have to think about it, I just know that if it is one of those days, I'll clean the house.  Same for many of the other things I do on a regular basis.  And of course, things like writing my blog are only semi-repetitive.  Sure, I write a post every Wednesday, but each post is different.

And I truly enjoy doing most of the things I do routinely!  I don't want to give them up.  I just sometimes need something to shake things up, to give me something completely random and new to explore for a bit, so that I can go back to my everyday routine with renewed vigor.

Depending on what my rut is, I turn to different things to break free.  If I have a lot of desk-work to do in a day, I may break it up by slipping in things that get me up and doing something else for a bit, like going outside to check the mail (letting the wind refresh me), or washing some dishes (using the water to ground out!).  If it is a bigger rut, like becoming frustrated with my weekly or monthly patterns, I may need to change one of them.  Sometimes, simply changing when or how you do something makes it feel less repetitive (even if you are still doing it as often, just on a different day).

And sometimes, change happens whether you intend it or not!  I have been talking about getting a new desk for a while now.  It started as a sort of side comment, nothing serious.  I've had my desk for almost 20 years, and it's a huge thing.  Strangely, for being a huge thing, I don't have a lot of actual, usable desk surface.  Between my computer (which lives on my desk top for dust reasons), my monitor (on a stack of books so it is the right height...which means I loose that whole part of my desk), keyboard and mouse (I have a full sized desktop, not a laptop, so it takes up a bit of room), and a towel to rest my arm on (with all the left-arm issues I've had, I find that a dish towel, folded into about a six inch square helps avoid the worst of them, especially when I have a lot of computer work to do), there just isn't much space left.  I really can't even have a notebook comfortably out to write in.

We've been looking, sort of half-heartedly, for years at new desks.  I have a lot of notebooks that I want to keep handy, so my desk really needs to have some sort of storage..or I need a storage solution that keeps the things I have on my desk now somewhat handy.  And that is actually harder to find than you might imagine!  Especially as so many people are choosing laptops now, or only use their desktop for gaming (and thus only have a computer on their desk and don't need it to do anything else).

But, this year, hubby told me to find my new desk, and after much (frustrating) web-searching, I did.  I don't think it will have as much book storage as I might like, but I think it will provide me a much better working environment for my computer work.  It has a few features I am really looking forward to, like an adjustable shelf for my monitor (so I can store small books or my keyboard underneath it!) and pegs for hanging things like headphones. 

My desk is ordered and incoming, and now I am faced with a big change!  My computer desk is where I live, it is where I spend the vast majority of my day, and this desk has been with me for pretty much all my adult life.  It has been where I wrote all my blog posts (minus the few I wrote on vacation on my tablet hehe), where I have done all my work for Patreon, and where I have played most of my gaming career. 

And while I am excited about the new desk, I am also dreading the loss of my old one.  Little fears keep popping up in my head.  What if I can't find storage for all my stuff, and it becomes a big hassle for me to find things?  What if my computer doesn't fit the way I think it will?  Will my cats knock everything off of it?  What if I just don't like the new one?

But I keep reminding myself, that this change will be good.  One of the things I like about big, forced change like this is that not only does it shake up your system but it does force you to change.  I have been saying I will rearrange my desk for a while.  I have been planning to organize this one cubby in my desk that accumulates stuff (right now there is some desk stuff in it, along with:  incense, a bag of organza bags, jewelry, hair things, a tool for assembling my desk chair, craft tools, colored pencils (which I honestly forgot about until just now!), chocolate, and who knows what else.

The new desk will force me to figure out what all is tucked away in my desk and find a proper home for it.  It will force me to clean all the dust monsters (they are way too big to be dust bunnies...) out from behind where all the cords live.  It will make me get rid of all the outdated CD games that probably aren't even playable on modern computers (and half of which I own digitally anyways, so don't need the disks for).  It will make me really think about what I need and where I need it.

And all of this will may my days smoother.  Because the place where I spend my time will be streamlined and updated...which, if we're being honest, was not something I was going to do on my own anytime soon. 

It is so easy to get locked into doing things the way you always have.  It is easy to assign things a 'place' that never changes, no matter how inconvenient that place turns out to be.  Sometimes we need a good kick in the pants to get us to change, and once we have we wonder how we managed at all before!

We can wait for life to give us that push (or shove...), but we can also create that push!  We can choose to make big change in our lives, to force ourselves to change, even when we are resistant.  I know that if I suggest moving furniture to hubby, he will start thinking of ways to rearrange our house, which forces me to change.  I can create that change, but then I have to live with it (and do the work accompanying it)! 

Another way to force change on yourself is to physically remove the things that you are used to having.  If you have that old outfit, that is really not suitable to being worn, but you keep it around 'just to wear around the house' (but let's be honest, you wear it to the grocery store, or over to your friend's house)....toss it!  If you have dishes you just don't like, but are keeping to have spares, find a friend who needs some dishes and see if they want them.

Enlist your friends and family.  If you always cook and eat the same foods, challenge your family to teach you their favorite recipes or take you to a restaurant you have never been to before.  If you always practice your spirituality alone, invite some like minded people over for a small circle or study group, or sign up (and go to) a festival!  If you always use an Athame to cast circle, but want to try it with a broom or wand, box your Athame up and put it somewhere safe (but out of reach....or perhaps ask a trusted friend to hold onto it for you for a bit), so you can't just reach for your regular tools.

Forced change really works because there is no way to go back.  There is such a release when you realize you have reached the point of no return.  It is one reason why I like destroying things that I think I might want to 'save' (or hoard)...because then I can't change my mind and keep them, 'just in case.' 

So, if you are feeling stuck, or trapped, consider forcing some change into your life.  Get yourself moving, and look around and see places (start small, or be brave and plunge right in!) where you can create that forced change. 

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