Yesterday we bought a Christmas tree, which means that today I'll have to shop for something to put under that tree. I hate to shop, so I drag my feet right up until the last minute. And now it's the last minute.
But! On the bright side (and you know...I'm all about the bright side), I have a system. I gather the information, consider it, form a strategy, and go! With any luck I can be in and out of the shopping part of town in a couple of hours and be back in my chair, with my cats, books, and red blankie before the trauma has time to fully register.
Which brings me to the question of life strategies in general. Lori and I spent several hours in discussion over the last few days about our approaches to change in our lives. I am notoriously resistant to change. I put together a system that works for me, and then I stick to it. I like to eat chicken with rice for lunch pretty much every day. I like rice, I like chicken...why eat anything else?
Lori would kill herself if she had to eat the same thing day after day.
She asked me last night what I do when confronted with something new, like a gift that I didn't expect.
Pay attention. This can change your life.
First, I leave it out on the counter or on the floor...somewhere that I can look at it and get a sense of it's potential value in my life. If it passes that level of scrutiny, I touch it. If not, it goes into the shed or the closet, where it disappears from my mind forever.
If I touch it and handle it and try it out and it shows potential, I try to use it for a while. If it doesn't work the way I want it to work, once again...the shed or the closet. Finally, if it's not better than the one I already have, then you know...shed or closet.
And through this very careful winnowing strategy I end up surrounded by the optimum things. And once I have the optimum things, there's no reason to get new things...the things I have are, by definition, better than other things.
To me, that strategy makes perfect sense. Why fill up your house and life with things you feel ambivalent about? And why have three or four things you feel ambivalent about? And finally, why give the gift of ambivalence?
We got started down this road because Lori went shopping and came home with a special reading light bulb and a new lampshade for my reading lamp. I'm not denying that I needed a new lampshade (the cats knocked over my lamp and tore the shade, and it was looking like something a homeless person picked out of a dumpster to decorate his cardboard box), but just to be on the safe side, I freaked out anyway. I didn't need a new light bulb, my old light bulb was fine. And yes, I probably needed a new lampshade, but I wanted a chance to think about that for a while before a new lampshade was thrust upon me.
Hello? Doesn't that make sense?
Lori kept telling me, "You know how weird you are, don't you? No one else in the world would be upset by replacing a broken lampshade with a new one."
But it's not the lampshade that bothered me, it's the act of spontaneously replacing something with something else without taking time to consider that change for a while first.
So I think I've managed to convince Lori that I'm not kidding...I want my things to stay the same. I don't want a "new and improved" thing, I don't want to experiment, I just want to eat chicken and rice for lunch, sit in the reading chair under my lamp with my cats, and putter around in my yard. Forever. Everyday. Until I die.
Doesn't that make sense??
What do you do with changes in your life?