Saturday, December 6, 2008

Quick-change artist.

Reading a friend's blog made me think about change, and how I approach it.

Sometimes, a choice is so obvious that thinking it through is just a nicety. When I was laid off in 2005, it seemed a perfect time to hit the books full-time and finish my degree. When it occurred to me, I immediately stopped feeling at loose ends; at that point, I couldn't wait for the layoff to commence. I used the remaining three months to arrange my affairs, get all the money together that I could and get ready to hit unemployment running.

Other times, a change seems too unthinkable or painful to even consider. About 13 months ago, Annie suggested we might want to think about a smaller house as we age. I dismissed her idea as preposterous, and a month later we were making an offer on this house. I was ready to move ahead.

In the "unthinkable" category, in June, 1994, I made the decision to get a job that would support me and my son (after eleven years out of the lab and the job market), forsake my evangelical religion, leave my husband, suffer my parents' and extended family's disowning, and lose (almost) every friend I had made in 33 years of living. A year and a half later, I had done it.

Compared to Annie, I'm quagmired. She seems not to suffer change's pangs, or not to notice them. I whine and thrash. I don't go easily. I see myself as anchored to the present, though, and I'm really not. I wanted to write this so I can see myself more accurately.

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