Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Plan

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?


Anonymous said...

What do I do with the changes in my life?

I divorce them (smile)

Carrie said...

First, I eyeball it for a while and try to send it 'I think I hate you' signals, waiting to see if it gets up and leaves on its own.
Next, I chain smoke.
Then I drink.
Then I get drunk enough to make some kind of bold 'I hate you, get out' statement.'
Then I watch a movie with my cats and wonder if I made the right choice.
And finally, I realize that I made the right choice because change is almost always a bad idea. Especially uninvited change.

I really am your daughter, aren't I?


If I was your gf you would only ever get gift cards from me for all occassions that required gifts, and they would only be gift cards from Home Depot, or some other home improvement crap like store, and Bookstores. I would buy you several, wrap them in various size boxes and give them to you. That would be it.

In other words, you would drive me nuts.

What kind of junk do you have stashed? I want to root through your stash, there is probably good crap in there.


Sorry, I did not answer the question, what do I do with change in my life?

I save it in a glass milk bottle that I keep by my favorite chair in the living room.

Anonymous said...

Oohhh! Change in my life! Since I'm easy-going and relaxed, I embrace change with open arms! In fact, I actively go out and recruit change, since "Change" is my middle name. Robin

Pat said...

Hmm, I used to think that change was bad, until my life started forcing change on me. Now, I just shrug and adapt. But... I agree with you about not needing to change possessions just because something else is newer. And I believe that recycling things to others that you do not need/want in your life is exceptional behavior. So let Cedarflame root through your things. And,l one more thing...pfffft to you too.

Ev said...

Cedar, come on down and I'll load you up with crap. You'll have to sneak it past Lori, a noted conisseur (I'm sure nobody can really spell that word) of crap. She can find decorative uses for pretty much anything.

Robin...don't go there. I know who you really are. We must be related, since "Flexibility" is MY middle name.

And Pat? Have I pfffted you? And if so...why? And did you actually need pfffting?

Pat said...

well, one of you pfft me one Cedarflame's site. I don't know you well enough to identify which one. But, I NEVER deserve a pfft.


Kwach Pffft Pat over on my Blog and Pat posted as Anyonymous, but today she is feeling very brave and Pfffting as herself. Pat and I have known each other for a few thousand years now. She actually has met me, take pity on her.

Besides she is from New England and talks funny, she can't hep it.

Ev said...

I knew it wasn't me. Lori's a serial pfffter.

I'm the good twin...the Gallant to her Goofus. Hell, I can't even bring myself to pssst at the cats!

Kwach said...

First, to Pat:

I apologize for the pffffting.
I pfffted you because I thought you were someone else ... someone nefarious and deserving of a sound pfffting ... who is often found skulking around on our blog and the blogs of our friends and family, taking little "anonymous" slaps at us.

And now, to the real question at hand ... change:

I'm a Gemini. Gemini is a Mutable, Air sign. We go with the flow. We're flexible and adaptable, we crave change and we're easily bored, we're gregarious, we're dreamy and live in a world of ideas and possibilities (all of which are as valuable as reality), we're impulsive and we often make decisions with our hearts rather than our heads, we appear flighty and wishy-washy, we conform and transform and go along to get along ... and we need to talk and socialize and communicate like other people need air.

Ev is a Cancer. Cancer is a Cardinal, Water sign. They're goal-oriented and in charge, they don't know what boredom is, they prefer home to society, they're tenacious and strong-willed, they're grounded in reality, they consider everything logically, they're intense and moody with a tendency to brood, and they and they need serenity, solitude and silence like other people need air.

They say this is a combination which will either produce a sublime relationship or a disastrous one. Most of the time ours is sublime. We're both thinkers and communicators, and when our psychologies clash and our stars get crossed we always manage to remember that we love each other a ton, we know how good we are together in the best of times, we've weathered enough storms to know we can do it, and we have a shared vision and resolve to keep doing it.

On the bright side, they say having a Gemini lover is like having multiple lovers, so maybe Ev should just pretend I have an evil twin who comes in and changes the lampshades and rearranges things so she can't find them. Don't get mad at me, honey ... it was Blanche.

Ev said...

Oh...and Carrie? It's our job to carry the torch and leave a legacy of inflexible, change-hating, vertically-challenged cranky women into the next millenium.

I've done my part. That just leaves you now. Get cracking.

SP said...

Oh sweet sweet Ev, I'm now convinced that I would scare the everloving shit out of you.

I love change. It's fun and exciting and WooHoo!!!!

I also find comfort in traditions and sameness. It's a safety that I can go to for peace and rejuvination before I run right out and find me some more CHANGE!

Have a Merry Christmas ladies

Ev said...

I wouldn't be afraid of you, Ms. Pants. I would merely see you as the misguided soul you are, and would attempt to gently lead you on the path towards ossification. Soon you too could become a Lampshade Nazi.

Enjoy your Holiday! Oh...and thanks for blogging with us. It's an ongoing pleasure. :-)

Pat said...

cArltOn596consider the pffting forgotten Kwach, grin

Happy Holidays all

Pat said...

oh chit, now I have to change my password...gdsoab