Category Archives: Change

January – Try a new food every day.

I love the Ted Talk by Matt Cutts – Try Something New for a Month. I’ve done this for several years but not every day and not every month. I skipped several months last year but I missed doing it so January is try a new food every day. I really want to try some veggies I’ve never tasted before but I’m not making hard and fast rules on this. As long it’s something I’ve never tried or something prepared in a way I’ve never tried I’m considering it a new food. I haven’t been to the grocery store in 2016 yet so I challenged myself a bit by choosing this one for January. I used what was in the fridge and pantry to cover Jan 1 and 2.

1.  I made a chicken salad using a combination of ingredients I’d never tried together before. I chopped up leftover lemon spiced chicken and pecans and mixed them with some sour cream, some plain yogurt, and olive oil mayo.  Basically i’m trying to eat up leftovers from Christmas and other gatherings and this was in the fridge along with some pears that were dangerously close to overripe.  I ate the chicken salad on slices of pear instead of bread or crackers. The combination tasted really fresh and delicious. I think if I do this again I’ll try adding some celery, shredded carrots, and grapes to the chicken salad.  I hate going to the grocery store so I tend to get creative to avoid it. This time was a win.

2.  I tried Honey Roasted Mixed nuts. I tend to just eat plain nuts but I accidentally bought these for Ted (my husband, not the talk) thinking they were the Honey Roasted Peanuts he likes. Anyway, I gave them a try and they were really sweet. They tasted good but I’m not sure I’d have them again because the sugary coating defeats the purpose of mixed nuts. I actually prefer tasting the various nut flavors but the coating made them all taste pretty much the same.

This is the talk.

1:55 am wanderlust

I find myself awake. Alive in wonder. Finally.

Looking back down a locust eaten road wondering how God can return the years-Years marked by compliance and pretending, surviving and yearning for some forgotten thing

that I am just now recovering –

battered  dreams I thought lost.

Adventure emerges from its fear-induced coma.

Elusive ideas resist definition

My mind refuses the call. All day I distract myself with the inane and the practical but tonight sleep refuses me shelter from this compelling uncertainty goading me awake at 55 pushing me to embrace a future that I should be looking back at by now.

Beckoning me to go out my door and see where the road takes me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A dangerous business

Gandalf, said, “I am looking for someone to share in an adventure I am arranging…” There is something thrilling about letting go of fear. There is freedom in looking at everything there is to lose and being willing to lose it. It’s amazing to be out there but I find it absolute agony to decide to open the door and go out there.

When it comes to risk, I think Bilbo says it best, “Also I would like to know the risks, out-of-pocket expenses, time required and remuneration. and so forth.” I want a detailed analysis of what I’m getting into and and plan for every eventuality. I am perfectly willing to go on an adventure but I don’t want complications or confrontations. And I like having a plan.

Yves Chouinard says that “the word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong, that’s when the adventure begins. ” I recently watched 180 South for the third time and it messed with me.  The scenery is fantastic. It almost makes me want to get off the couch. In it Jeff Johnson retraces the journey of Chouinard and Doug Tompkins in a quest to duplicate their climb of the Corcovado volcano. Most of the movie is about his journey there in which things go wrong. Then, because he arrives late the snow is melting and more things go wrong. Instead of doing what he planned, Jeff Johnson ends up doing and learning and experiencing things that were not part of his original vision. That seems to be the way adventures work.

I am not unfamiliar with risk or with things going wrong.  In the 70’s I jumped out of a plane and sprained both my ankles. Back then there were no tandem jumps. The new skydiver simply climbed out on the wing of the plane, grabbed the struts, and jumped. I counted 1001, 1002 and pulled the cord to deploy the chute. It was amazing. Quieter than I expected. And faster. My feet hit the ground before I was ready to do  the rolling fall I’d practiced.  My ankles still give me trouble but I don’t regret jumping.

In the 80’s I had children. By definition, children mean disruption and risk. It’s guaranteed that parents are sometimes going to mess up parenting. I would do some things differently but my sons are three amazing people. Becoming a parent is a huge adventure and completely unpredictable.

In the 90’s I quit my job to do a start-up with my husband. It failed and we lost a lot of money.  In the 00’s we left a church and a circle of friends we’d been part of for nearly 30 years in order to follow the adventure God was arranging.  In the 2010 we got rid of over half our stuff, rented out our house and simplified our lives by moving into an apartment 5 minutes from work.

And now, just as I was warming up to those changes, God seems to be arranging another adventure, and I for one want to know the risks. I want to see the schedule, the budget, the agenda. Not gonna happen.

What I’ve discovered in looking is that jumping out of a plane is so much easier than jumping into life change. The simplicity of letting go of the struts and falling forces an “all in.” I love to travel, I love adventures, I even like to move, but I enter into life changes holding onto fear.  I stubbornly try to follow a safe plan instead of surrendering to the inevitable adventure that happens when that plan is disrupted, which is gonna happen.

I am not sorry for any of the risks I’ve taken. I’m sorry for the ones I was afraid to take. Even knowing that, I find myself guarded and slightly uncommitted. I hope I can let go of the struts soon.

 

 

Uncertain journeys

Sometimes I feel the excitement of change. That hopeful moment when I get this momentary glimpse myself thriving in a different environment having applied clear and simple plans to resolve the problems. But in most of the changes I’ve experienced the plans and process remain uncertain. It’s not enough to know that it will work out, I want to know how. I love to travel and experience new things, with an agenda.

I actually like moving, when it’s planned. It’s not doing something different, or even dangerous,  it’s doing something different I can’t predict or control. To be honest, risk is kind of thrilling if you know the potential dangers and challenges. It’s the faceless, nameless, unforeseen disruptions that scare me. Then excitement about change, even good change, comes with a little fear. It’s not the risk, it’s the uncertainty.

Sometimes I feel the necessity of change. That supercharged moment when I realize I can’t simply abide because the aggression of the status quo will not stand. Then I retreat, wearied by potential tension, fearful of potential conflict, smiling and nodding like a dashboard dog. I tend to be an abider. I have a hard time arriving at a point where conflict is worth more than tolerating a situation I don’t find ideal. I don’t really believe in ideal anyway, so changing one imperfect situation for another takes a pretty gigantic tipping point for me.

Sometimes I feel the inevitability of change. That uncontrollable moment when the ticking of the clock and spinning of the earth upset my equilibrium. Time is running out. About ten years ago on my 45th birthday I realized that, optimistically, I was half dead. That is, I’d lived at lest half my life. Gravity is not my friend. Health has been a better companion but may not continue to tolerate my cavalier habits. My bucket list is bigger than my checkbook. Progress is more dizzying than impressive but I am trying to stay on the culture train as it blasts into the future.

I find myself regretting the changes I resisted more than changes I embraced. I don’t regret risking and losing. Risking and losing is a story worth telling. There is not much of a story in hibernating because I was afraid. I regret the times I didn’t try something new because I was afraid. But I don’t regret the times I passed on change because I just didn’t think the potential reward was worth trading relationships or time or personal satisfaction. Like I said before, I’m more of an abider than a world shaker.

Sometimes I feel the rewards of change. That revealing moment when I recognize that I’ve been on a journey that has changed me, internally and externally. I can look back and see that while I was living through a series of related events in my life, God was writing a story worth telling, complete with character arc, plot twists, conflict and resolution, and hopefully some snappy dialog.

Now I am confronted once again with change. I don’t know where it’s going. I don’t know what effect it will have on my life, my relationships, or my thinking. I didn’t choose it but I’m open to it. I will abide in change, trusting there is a good story to tell at the other end of this uncertain journey.