Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Change

I've been a bit haphazard in getting my blog going for the year. I had some really amazing ideas before Christmas, which kind of fizzled. I'm not quite sure where I will go with it, but change is still in the air. It's been hanging around quite a lot lately. Making itself known.

Our eldest started her new school year, yesterday. Another change. Only, this school year came with a myriad of realisations.


2008


After Sarah completes this year, she will enter her first Senior year. Senior. Isn't that when the world starts to get a little more interesting? It was nine years ago, she started her first day of school. For me though, it still feels like yesterday. As if to emphasise what has already come before, my world suddenly started playing in stereo-phonics.

It began when I saw Peter drawing in the Spiderman, Colouring & Activity book, we got him for Christmas. Nothing unusual about that. Only he wasn't colouring Spiderman or attempting to get the stickers out, as he did formerly. He was attempting to draw the letters in his book, for the first time, instead.

It suddenly occurred to me, this would be the last year, Peter would be at home.


writing


I knew it was coming, because I was planning for his first day of Prep, already. But seeing him drawing in that book, owning every new discovery, was just another realisation that change was in store, for all of us. Sarah will start her first year of Senior, next year, and Peter will start his first year of school.

Each of them are graduating to the next step, they need to take. I'm not upset or distressed by that, but it made me realise I have a difficult relationship with "change", nonetheless. Like I said, it's been hanging around, making itself known.


Click to enlarge


Indulge me a little detour into my own childhood. I drew the picture above, for my mum's new book, she self-published recently. It was about how we survived as a family, through cyclone Tracy - Australia's worst cyclone. I finished reading it, and I'm amazed how close I came to not writing this blog, or having my own children. I was only five months old, on my first Christmas Eve, and it was a day my family would literally fight for their lives. Not just during the cyclone, but afterwards.

More bizarre than reading the book however, was drawing myself as a baby in my mother's arms, during my early 40's. Or hearing from a friend who endured the cyclone with us, say I captured the day after Tracy, perfectly. Yet I was only 5 months old. Now I'm 40. Did I blink or something?

Well, that change - you see, it happened all along. To me. To my family. We just didn't get to appreciate the highlights fully, until we developed hindsight. Which takes time, for change to occur.


 Preschool 1978 ~ 
I'm like a deer, gazing into headlights


This brings me back to my difficult relationship with change recently. In my childhood, we moved around a lot. With these new moves, always came stress and making new friends, all over again. I'm sure as a child I loved the adventure of it all, but in truth, I don't think I learned to appreciate change, in a healthy way. Somewhere inside, is a personal trigger I try and avoid. The trigger of change, where things unfold in ways you don't fully understand. So it makes you feel different ranges of terrified.

As I was coming to terms with my children evolving recently, I experienced a new range of terrified. So I contemplated it for a while, and realised their growing up, wasn't the problem. It was my relationship to change. What does it mean for me? How will I cope? Will there be more to this change I'm not expecting? All questions, I cannot answer right now. Change unfolds how it's meant to, not according to our understanding of it.


A new day dawning


So I decided it's probably time I work on my relationship to change. Give it some freedom to evolve, and stop seeing it as a reason to doubt so much. Because I only end up doubting myself, or other things. Which doesn't actually make a difference to change occurring anyway. It just makes me less able to cope with my circumstances.

So I finally picked a word to focus on, for the rest of the year. Change. What comes to pass, ever so gradually - or what we don't realise unit it arrives, all points to acceptance on a personal level, anyway.

How is change evolving in your life lately?


17 comments:

  1. Chris, already this month there have been huge changes in my life which I have had to try and deal with and it hasn't been easy. How amazing that you went through cyclone Tracy as a baby. What a devastating event that was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you find your way, through all that change. It's not always easy.

      Delete
  2. Gosh, what an experience the cyclone must have been for your family. We are coming to terms with change at our place after hubby's car crash early in December. Hopefully he will be coming home at the end of February, at which time, more changes will be on the cards. That's life isn't it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's hoping there's an upside to all you've been through. Like the kind of changes it brings about, are beneficial ones, in the long term. :)

      Delete
  3. Some changes can floor you, but even if it seems you won't deal with it very well, you can move on by remembering some things don't happen TO you they happen FOR you.....if you just look for the opportunity or possibilities that are now ahead of you.
    This attitude got me through some pretty heavy stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good thinking MargaretP. I've found it easier to focus on the potential change brings with it, too. Though I have to fight the habit to see it through fear. It's getting easier. :)

      Delete
  4. Chris I'm with you. I don't do 'change' very well at all. This doesn't mean I refuse to do new things or go to new places, it just means it's not so easy to deal with. I like time to think and time to get used to the idea of a 'change'. If I can have this time, then I manage well. The opposite is true if I don't get the time.
    We left Humpty Doo, just south of Darwin 3 years ago after moving there in '92. Whilst we didn't get a Tracy, we did get several small ones and a few devastating, localised storms. One memorable one saw a large ironbark decide to fall over onto our roof. Hmm I managed the move to Hervey Bay quite well, and that was a pretty big change.
    Maybe my relationship with change is improving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard many references about Humpty Doo, from my mum over the years. What a funny name for a place, but the locals seemed to like it. Most of my memories of my seven years in the NT, was of overturned trees, with their root balls completely out of the ground. I don't remember anything of Cyclone Tracy, but I do remember Cyclone Max, which came later.

      I'm glad you're finding a new relationship to change. I know the path of resistance, formerly as well.

      Delete
  5. I think most folks aren't too keen on change. In general I think I handle change pretty well, but right now we're wishing for change (in Dan's job status) and it just doesn't seem to be happening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's hoping there are positive changes ahead for Dan. Those kind of changes (improving workloads or place of employment) are welcome. :)

      Delete
  6. Hmmm, we have moved house over 25 times in 25 years....I am sure our girls will move into their own homes and never move, poor darlings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I imagine they will all respond differently Mr HM. I just happened to be super sensitive to change. Other children can be less so. :)

      Delete
  7. What a great post, Chris! You've hit a nail on the head. Modern (by which I mean 'civilised') humans don't seem to like change. I'm with you on that one. I dislike change; huge change anyway. If we go back thousands if years to the hunter-gatherer state, I would imagine things changed very little for people on a day-to-day basis. There would have been slow, expected, seasonal changes (weather, new seasonal foods available), but nothing that would be like the huge changes we get just with in one lifetime now. At primary school we wrote in exercise books with a nib pen and inkwells in every desk...now kids type into laptops or tablets. There was only cash money when I was a kid, now we have plastic cards and electronic transfer. The cashless society may be on the way. Huge changes in one lifetime. In an evolutionary sense we are still hunter-gatherers....we aren't adapted to rapid change and we don't 'do' it at all well. Even those who seem to cope better than most are probably suffering some unknown mental and physical crises that show up in the various auto-immune diseases that seem to be on the increase.

    The coming energy decline is going to be one helluva change for everyone. We've become used to a way of life that depends on huge amounts of net energy. Now that's all going to go away.

    I hope your attempts to work with change are successful for you. I hope I won't be around to see the really big changes that are in the pipeline. I don't 'do' change very well.

    BTW, great drawing for the cover of your Mum's book. It would be an interesting read. I don't remember much about Tracy, although I would have been about 31 at the time. Will the book be generally available?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point about the rate of change, we're having to adapt as a species. The more advanced we become, the quicker we seem to upgrade to new ways of doing things.

      The change ahead for society, will be challenging for the future, it's true. Building strong community networks, helps though. I saw the power of people in the flood. They came in their droves and moved mountains with bare hands and some running water. Which was about all there was, as electricity was down everywhere, and vehicles couldn't move around on highways.

      That's not to say, society will glide through any major changes in the future of decline. But the more we make those community connections, the more rapid we can adapt in decline, or to a period of destruction.

      Regarding the book, I'm working on helping my mum make it available for purchase online. At the moment she's selling by word of mouth, and is hoping to have a book launch in Darwin (where Tracy hit) not too far away. I'll send you an email shortly. No pressure to buy. I just mentioned the book, because it happened to feature in some of my personal realisations lately. Thanks for your positive feedback. :)

      Delete
  8. Chris a sourdough question. After i prove my dough it comes out of the bowl very wet and sticky. Is this supposed to happen? I find i need to use more flour for the second knead. I get a great prove first time and not so good secobd time. What am i doing wrobg?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jane, I suspect in this weather, you've over-proved the sourdough - which isn't very hard to do. The starter consumes all the new food you give, in the first rise, and has nothing left for the second rise. The stickiness is the starter dying off (because it has no more food) and making hooch. Which is that liquid you sometimes see in your starter jar. I write about summer sourdough here.

      Delete
    2. I wondered if this was the case. I might try and keep my first prove a bit cooler, although as you said in this weather it might be difficult. Thanks for the help.

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I love reading what you have to share. Gully Grove is a Spam free environment though, so new commenter’s only leaving hyperlinks, will be promptly composted.