Saturday, May 24, 2008

My Rules of Life---Part Five


Remain Open to Change


I think being stuck in a rut is the worst place to be, whether psychic, emotional, spiritual or physical.

I know far, far too many people who are. Fearful. Always heading for the safety factor, the government job, the pension, the same hotel, the same vices, the same breakfast.

Sometimes it just feels so damn good to get out of the other side of the bed. And to move the toothpaste to the opposite side of the sink. And try on the grandchild’s cereal. And go to the funky teenage movie. Just. Because. And not to think to oneself when someone offers to do your astrology chart, I’m too old for that nonsense. But embrace it and say, yeah, maybe some mysteries will now get unravelled.

There is nothing safe about the rut to me. It’s an illusion, like most of life. I’ve known people who collapsed and died clutching their first pension cheque (metaphorically speaking) saying, hell yeah, now I’ll head for Paris. They never make it.

Banks have bamboozled us into believing we need all this money to retire. The banks are laughing all the way to the….

I’m an accountant and no, we don’t. Unless you plan on travelling the world forever in an ocean liner like that woman who prefers it to a retirement home – sorry can’t find the link - and that’s just another rut, albeit an exotic one.

The other day, I approached an old codger who plays the accordion. I said to him, I brought an electronic piano out with me from Toronto (I know, I know, awful things but can’t find a second hand piano here yet, although I’ve put word out on the bush telegraph) and I wouldn’t mind maybe a bit of jamming if we could get a few others together? I was fearful doing it but thought damn it, I miss my music so much, it’s time to uncreak the fingers and get a few licks in before I rust away. He said, yeah, hey, yeah. And that was all I needed. Who knows how it will go, and even if it doesn’t I’m prepared to enjoy the journey back to my music.

I could have stayed in Toronto, surrounded by family, friends and assorted loved ones. Safe. But one of my dreams was to live by the ocean. Wake up to the smell, sight and sound of it. And only I could make that enormous change. Or dither indefinitely about it.

And then get too old to make a fresh start – or any other excuse I can locate in the Stuck in a Rut Directory.

Life is all about change. Try telling that to the people who are stuck and they just don’t get it.

And I resist change, of course I do, but I always go back to the thought that being stuck in a rut is like floating inside a septic tank, it’s all warm and cosy inside there but Sweet Jebus, it smells to high heaven.

19 comments:

  1. Change can also be unsettling and unnerving and stressful and some of us don't take to it very well and can only do change in tiny little increments.

    Here's to those who do change well. I applaud them, because I am all for it. I am just not very good at it. Maybe in my next life, I will be a changeling and a time traveler.

    Or better yet, maybe I was supposed to be these things in this life, but I got stuck in the wrong mind. How is that for an attitude change?

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  2. Good for you being more adventurous than most. It definitely pays off to throw all caution to the winds sometimes and just follow your heart. Sometimes I can do that, sometimes I'm a bit nervous of flapping my wings. But it was certainly a good move when we waved London goodbye and came to Ireland - it's been eight brilliant years. Too much routine can calcify the soul.

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  3. Nora:
    tiny increments are fine, I believe, I really didn't mean to talk of huge changes, they can be very unnerving, or very adventurous. I truly believe we have this short precious life and we need to make the most of it.
    Nick:
    I don't consider myself more adventurous even though most of my friends do. Apart from that 5% of my life where I'm down and depressed, I'd say I'm happier than most too in the 95%. If you can follow that ;^)
    good for you and Jenny, how did you feel about the move originally and was it way better than expected?
    XO
    WWW

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  4. Hear hear, WWW! With you all the way.

    My husband always says that when you stop taking risks you start to get old....change involves taking risks, and I'm all for it.

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  5. Yes, I agree with Himself and you, T. It's all about risks. And never, ever losing that sense of wonder as a result!
    I've a friend of 82 who is far, far younger than me as she says right out how she feels and does things spontaneously all the time, like dancing with 24 year old men and phoning me when I was in Toronto just to tell me she missed me and then hanging up. I love her to bits. She is fearless.
    I'm workin' on it!!
    XO
    WWW

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  6. I may be about to take a huge risk and risk the health of my state of mind instead of staying in a certain painful situation. A painful rut, sort to say. It scares the living hell out of me, but what is a woman to do when her mental health is at stake? Or her honor. Does that count for something too?

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  7. www, we always felt it was going to turn out well. Jenny's father's family came from here originally, and we'd had several holidays here we really enjoyed. Living in London was full of problems - noise, congestion, house prices, too built-up etc. Life here was definitely better than expected. There's a sense of space and creativity, people are friendlier, there're beaches and mountains within easy reach, and Belfast is such a magical city (despite its past!). We certainly won't be leaving any time soon.

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  8. Nora;
    You have written about in your blog, it is so hard to determine our life's path and only we can do it. You can accept situations (which doesn't mean you approve of them)or for your own sanity and peace of mind move on, you need to weigh everything carefully, maybe with professional help if you are fragile.
    Healing thoughts go your way.
    XO
    WWW

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  9. Nick:
    I get you on the congestion bit. I love Belfast, always have. Small enough to feel cosy and I gather you must have been welcome there. Small cities are often antagonistic towards new inhabitants. Vancouver is one such and my home city of Cork is another. Very difficult to break down the barriers and find new friends.
    I'm so glad it all worked out for you!
    XO
    WWW

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  10. I left routine and predictability behind nearly a year ago when I decided to separate from my husband after many grey, unsatisfying years.

    I left suburbia behind and headed for the city centre (a crime amongst those who like to place their bins exactly on the correct collection day)

    I took and exotic and exciting lover (mothers aren't meant to have needs beyond their children)

    I started taking my passion about my own career seriously and furthered studies (countering my belief that I would never be successful)

    I learnt to live on my own (and stepped away from those who consider that only family life is normal and acceptable).

    I have become stronger, more vital, more self sufficient and forgiving of the shortcomings of others than before. It was the best thing I did. I love that you tread the same path {{{WWW}}}

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  11. Ouch! We who are stuck in our rut don't thank you for this - especially the floating in a septic tank image. Of course you're right - and I like your living by the ocean idea. We do get it, you know, but getting it makes us feel awkward - about not being so brave as you.
    Feebly yours.

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  12. H:
    somehow I knew that you were on a path that was the one less travelled, like myself. Good for you! And life is so much more exciting and joyful for you. And it shows!
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Oh don't be so hard on yourself, OF:
    I think you fill your life with passion and eccentric criticisms and bring all sorts of forgotten memorabilia to the surface of others' lives.
    I know you certainly enhance mine!
    There is absolutely nothing feeble about you!
    XO
    WWW

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  14. Hello me dear www! Sorry it has been long, but I managed to catch up with reading it now.

    I guess people find comfort in the septic tank, their familiar, secure, warm and cosy albeit smelly world where status quo reigns. Don't we stay in relationships for the sake of that comfort, familiarity, security even if it is not a happy space to be in?
    I have done it myself, being stuck then deciding to be unstuck. Still much to learn.

    I like your rules of life sequence of posts, can't wait for the next one.

    Gxoxo

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  15. Slowly by slowly I am becoming emotionally unstuck, It is like a real birthing process and the labor is hard. This Nora woman has it in her to do great things, though. Can you be a bit of a role model to her? Just a teensy bit? Could you handle that?

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  16. Gaye:
    So good to have you back in our blogging world. I have missed you.
    Yes I've stayed in relationships too because of the familiarity and the fear of the unknown.
    but real life happens in the unknown.
    XO
    WWW

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  17. Nora:
    I can't be anybody's role model. Our paths are all unique and different and for you to follow me would be ignoring your own magical journey. You will find the way all by yourself.
    We all do.
    XO
    WWW

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  18. We all need to shake the dust from our shoes and move on to new green fields.

    There are only two things that we can be sure of in this life:

    1. Nothing stays the same
    2. We are all going to die.

    So we better make the most of the time we have here!

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  19. I so agree GM:
    Every day I'm vertical is a cause for a celebration. So many of my friends are horizontal.
    We are blessed bloggers, no question!
    XO
    WWW

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