Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hey Brother, can you spare 41 cents?

If you guessed this post is going to be about change, then I suppose you can give yourself credit for being a quick thinker - or at least as obscure a thinker as I am. So there are a few reasons I'm writing about change today. The most immediate is that when I woke up this morning, got my coffee, and settled into my morning, I opened up Facebook and saw that the layout of my page had changed. Okay, no big deal. I've dealt with far worse to start my day.

But it got me thinking. In fact, lately my days have pretty even keel. I so much as told this to an acquaintance of mine (okay, a close acquaintance) who seems to be struggling right now with things. Yesterday we were having a conversation (mostly a monologue on her part I admit I didn't have the energy to listen to) and in reply to her remark that she needs to talk herself down and not do anything rash I mentioned how lately I've had no desire to stir things up in my life. I'm okay with where I'm at and I've no reason to make any changes.

 She replied by saying change is inevitable.

 Of course it is I replied. Change happens whether you like it or not. And there certainly are times when it's appropriate to force a change in your life. If you're in an abusive relationship, or your habitual behavior is causing you to suffer you should definitely look into doing something about it. But in your quest for enlightenment don't you think that if you reach a plateau you should jump on the opportunity to take a breather? Should I feel guilty that I'm not trying to force myself to grow as a person right now? I'm just not interested. I mean don't I do that naturally anyway?

 One never knows when life has been setting you up with fastballs and is about to send a split-fingered slider your way. You're not looking for it, nor should you. It's too exhausting. But it doesn't hurt to keep the possibility in the back of your mind either. Then when it happens you'll at least have a shot at laying some wood into it. (Okay, I'm done with the baseball analogies. If I've lost you please understand it's summer and baseball is a symbol of the season. You have to at least appreciate that. Now keep reading and let's be adult about this.)

 Change hits you when you least expect it. Thirteen years ago I knew change was coming. I had a son on the way. I would soon have two children. Our family dynamic would never be the same. So I prepared myself for it. Did all the things expectant parents do, some of which I didn't do the first time around. One week after my son was born we found ourselves in Boston Children's hospital listening to doctors explain over and over what was wrong with our son's heart with me half-listening and understanding even less. It still tears at me to think of it. All I knew was that they were going to cut my infant son's chest open like a melon and rubber band something together. This would fix things for a while but as he grew they made it perfectly clear that we'd be back for more. This is the kind of change you can never prepare yourself for. Like the day I came home from work to learn my dad had massive heart attack and died on the way to the hospital. Nope. Didn't see that one coming either. You will never, never, never be able to avoid change, nor will you be able to anticipate it. OF COURSE I KNOW THAT.

So here's what I've learned in my 57 years of life. If it ain't broken...yeah, you know the rest and that sounds pretty trite. But it's true.

So about the title of today's post. The other day I was walking down the street and one of the growing number of homeless people stopped me and asked for exactly 41 cents.

I gave him fifty.
Hee Haw

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