Change is good. Even presidential elections have been won using change as a platform, so I guess lots of folks like it. Or at least that's what I hear. Change for me means having to venture outside my comfort zone into places unknown, and at this point I'm pretty happy in my bubble. Back in my younger years, ready to take on the world, this was not a problem. It was My World – and everybody else was just in it. Ah, the joy of youth. Now days, transition makes me antsy, routine has become the routine, and I'm just fine with that. They say girls turn into their mothers, but on this note I'm a Daddys Girl all the way. My father would put a hermit to shame. Maybe its age. Maybe its the changes life has to offer. As much as this thing called living is such a great ride, we all know nobody exits stage right alive, and the older we get, the more apparent this becomes. Life means loss, and sometimes loss is a heavy hitter.
And time stops for no one. As I look around, I see my own 3 girls have grown into adulthood, the grandchildren are frolicking in the yard, bags have somehow appeared under my eyes, my father is aging - it's clear time is not stopping for me, or anyone. The more time goes by, the more loss we will experience. And we never really 'get over' loss. We just figure out how to exist without. Adjust. Our heart may get broken, but it keeps on beating. Kind of reminds me of the old Timex motto 'Takes a licking and keeps on ticking'. After my mothers death my father confided in me that he will not die from a broken heart, but he will definitely die with one. I get it now.
Lesson: Appreciate those around you
Even the little things. Like at work. I have two jobs outside slaving away in my studio. One is teaching stained glass at the local senior center. I have been there at least 13ish years because it's one of the best gigs around. The ladies are fantastic and we have become great friends. I could go on and on... The director who hired me is the most wonderful of all. But as we know, the clock keeps on-a-ticking, my boss has retired, and we now have a new director. A nice young lady she is. Its just that change thing again. And guess what? As fate would have it, my other job of 15 years at the art center...new director as well...same reason, and more change. I'm banking on the more things change, the more they stay the same thing, but again, time will tell.
Lesson: Go with the flow
The Younger Me used to read obits of old ladies: “She enjoyed crocheting and spending time with her grandchildren”. Really??? How Boring, I would think. Now, looking back, perhaps the old gal was spot on. As a grandmother myself (how the hell did THAT happen??), I now understand the benefit of enjoying grandchildren as much as possible - then sending them home. Perhaps in her younger years she was a maker of beautiful things. Perhaps time took away her ability to do that anymore, and she was left with crocheting. Perhaps because she was ninety. HELLO!
Lesson: Don’t judge.
And then there is Lis. On the surface she appeared unapproachable. A bulldog. A tough broad with the vocabulary of a drunken fisherman. I would say truck driver, but she was from Gloucester. Many-a-days were spent poolside, declaring war on the worlds problems and showering them with f-bombs while consuming buckets of beer and barrels of wine. And whoever said Absolute wont give you a hangover is full of it. Drink enough of anything and the next day your sick in bed. Ask me how I know. We also enjoyed little chats over the fence. Where I always had some crazy project in the works she starting calling me Tim. And Lis, with her consistent flow of wisdom, earned the nickname Wilson. Anyway, living next door to someone for years you would think you knew them pretty well. It wasn't until her illness clearly was getting the better of her that I discovered what a beautiful writer she was. Sure, every kid for every birthday was sure to get a book. I thought it was just the educator in her. But guess what? She actually wrote poetry (!!!). Total Shocker. My neighbor truly was the most caring, sensitive - and forgiving - person I had ever met. Who woulda thunk it.
Well. As debatable as Change is Good can be, Life is Short is something I think we can all agree on. The Younger Me, when it was My World, would have judged a successful day as how much I got done, or how many things were checked off the to-do list. Lately, I feel differently (could this be the dreaded CHANGE??). In the scale of things, we are only a single life in a single generation. Pretty insignificant when you think about it. So, whats the point plowing thru a to-do list? Guess what. The laundry will still be there tomorrow. Pretty sure The Eagles sang a song about that too. Maybe we should be thinking bigger. Maybe we should be more concerned with what we leave behind after our own deaths. Dad always says “We're going to be dead a lot longer than we're going to be alive”. Again, he is right.
Lesson: Listen to your parents
The internet is a weird place. Facebook makes it possible to be 'Friends' with people we have never met. That's pretty weird. In any case, often times we connect with others thru this virtual friendship, and amazingly enough, actually get to know people. We share pictures of our families, pets, yards and food. We celebrate successes and throw around Likes. We console each other in times of sadness and loss. This recently happened when A Friend announced the death of his Good Friend. Never having met My Friend, I certainly have never met his Good Friend, but I was moved to read about all the wonderful selfless things this man had accomplished in his brief 57 years on this earth. On top of it all, he left behind a legacy that makes me want to be more like him. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Not only was he a talented artist who made the world a more beautiful place, he cared. Makes me realize that a single life in a single generation can be a powerful thing after all.
Lesson: Don't waste life on the small stuff
So as we go thru life, whether we change places, need a change of pace, have a change of heart, or if we're going thru The Change, lets all try to change with the times – just a little. If your lucky enough to find yourself with a large chunk of change, give yourself a much needed change of scenery on occasion - and take along some friends or family that you love. And remain cautious: because a leopard can't change it's spots, and please, don't ever change horses in midstream.
I'm going to end this post now, and tell you a little about the above prerequisite photo of some sort of artwork. The piece is part of a series I'm working on titled Statement Jewelry. Each piece has a little something to say, and when you put them all together in the correct order they (kinda) tell a story. The bigger plan is to make a series of series, to be commentary on different aspects of our quirky social culture. But who knows. The stack of Things I Want To Make keeps getting bigger and bigger while the summer keeps getting shorter and shorter. And I am a woman. I could change my mind.