Saturday, February 23, 2013

Life is about... change

From the time of the first humans, we've been conditioned to adapt to change. Sometimes the changes are swift: a lion jumps down from a tree right in front of you; you're driving and your car catches on fire. Sometimes the changes are slow: an ice age descends; long-held morals and traditions are broken. But whether the change is fast or slow, physical or emotional, we are all programmed to react and adapt.

However, some people are better suited to this than others. I assume those people (because they don't include me) probably descended from lion-tamers or race car drivers. In contrast, my ancestors were probably the ones getting eaten by the lions or panicking when the car lit on fire. Adapting to change has never been my strong suit. Since I've started teaching, the beginning and the end of summer vacation have both been traumatic for me. The sudden change of lifestyle and structure throws me for a loop, and I don't usually "sink in" to summer until a few weeks in. Nor do I start to enjoy school again until around October. I would not mind if we changed the school year to trimesters with three weeks off in between. Three weeks would feel like a vacation, not a complete change of pace, and we'd all return to each trimester rested but not wiped clean.

As far as quick changes go, I'm improving. Mothers are the fastest adapters and best jugglers in the world. Today I watched my friend help both her young daughters eat their meals in a diner while carrying on a conversation with me, getting climbed on by one daughter, stopping the other from falling off her chair and somehow making her own sandwich disappear without my even seeing her eat. Life moves quickly when you're a parent. Children can switch it on or off in an instant, so you'd better be prepared.

But even though I sometimes feel a bit deficient in this department, I know I have it in me to improve. "Survival of the fittest" says that my ancestors made it through somehow. And though my problems are much less adrenaline-pumping than "a lion is going to eat me," I can tap into that primal resource whenever I need.

Here's hoping the next big change in my life will be someone showing up at the door with a sweepstakes check.

Changing tides

Other posts in the series:
Life is about... expectations
Life is about... experiences

1 comment:

  1. Knowing your father as I do, I suspect it is genetic, BIG TIME! Still, if he survived, and sometimes even thrived, all these years, so can you too...probably even better. Btw, thanks for the great blogs on experiences and expectations. Your father and I have shared some interesting thoughts about these!!!