Tag Archives: change

Big and Small

14 May

My life has undergone significant changes this year. So has my body. Most of my clothes are two sizes too big.

I can’t afford a new wardrobe. I was smaller and then I got bigger. I thought I would never be smaller again, so I got rid of my smaller clothes. Now I am smaller but I can’t get rid of my bigger clothes. This is a problem.

Who wants to hear someone complain about losing weight? Not very many people. Of this I am certain.

I am happy to have a more active lifestyle, which is cheaper than a gym membership and more effective.

I have stairs in my life. I have a job where I can’t sit down or stay in one place. I have laundry facilities outside the home. I don’t know where various things are at home, so I spend a fair amount of time walking in circles, looking around and inside and through and under and behind. I am using all of the prepositions I can think of.

Months after moving, we still have Mystery Boxes. If you have ever moved, you probably know exactly what Mystery Boxes are.

We also have a shortage of furniture. We left things behind. Big things. Things that held smaller things. Where do the smaller things go when they are no longer held by the bigger things? They go on the floor. I can’t afford to get new bigger things to hold the smaller things. This is a problem.

These problems are not big problems.

I have loose clothing. I need to step over things on the floor.

These problems are small.

When Everything Is New

8 Feb

Moving away from your home, your state, your work, your friends, and your family isn’t easy.

Everything is new.

The excitement of change comes with a price: stress.

I am taking some lessons from the trees in this new climate.

In the first photograph you can see a skinny tree standing beside a house on the right. On the day I took these photographs I watched that skinny little tree — standing taller than the house — bear more and more snow as the day went on, gradually bowing under the increasing weight until the tip dragged on the ground. I thought the trunk might break. The homeowner soon tramped out and whip-lashed the flexible branches, freeing the snow and allowing the tree to spring back to its original posture. I noticed that the tree stayed upright after that, regardless of the continuing snowfall.

The first wet snow sticks and pulls everything down. If this initial weight is released, further snow slips off more easily.

I might need some help shaking off that first snow, but I will stand tall again.

Even Nelson Mandela Needs to Clean Out His Closet Once in a While

14 Sep

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.  ~Nelson Mandela

We are changing constantly – sometimes on the inside, sometimes on the outside. Your clothing should fit both your current lifestyle and your current body.

If you find yourself altered but your closet remains unchanged, do something about it!

In a Minute There Is Time

11 Aug

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse 

~T.S. Eliot, from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1919)

*   *   *   *   *

Sometimes we forget how much we can accomplish in a short time. A minute doesn’t seem very long – and yet it is long enough.

Make a decision. Make a revision. Improve your life. Improve the life of another person. It will only take a minute.

In a minute you can invest in a small business, solve a problem, tighten a screw, compliment someone, water a plant, wipe the kitchen counter, or even create a new life!

In another minute, somewhere on Earth, a business will fail, someone will receive an insult, a screw will be loosened, a plant will dry up, a counter will become sticky, and someone will most definitely die. In fact, across the globe, these things will happen many times over, and some of them may even happen to you.

Do not be discouraged.

The Universe changes with every moment. So do we.

Make a decision. Change something. Make something better than it was. If you act, perhaps your act will be reversed in the next moment, or perhaps it will not. Either way, if you have acted, your decision to act, and the act itself, both existed in that moment.

You were changed in that moment. The Universe was changed in that moment.

Go ahead, disturb the Universe. I dare you. It will only take a minute.

*   *   *   *   *

Change

9 Feb

I have been posting on this blog once a week, but this week I had expected that I might not write at all.

I thought, “I have too much anxiety this week.  My life is turning upside down.  I can’t think straight.  I can’t write.”

Then I realized, “That is exactly why I should write.”

Recently, I took some pictures of Spring branches and used them in a post.  The branches were bare to start with, but tiny buds turned to flowers and a few leaves.  The photos showed beauty, but they also showed change.

Sometimes you think you have it all together.

Everything changes. 

Some people looked at my photos of blossoming  branches and made comments about the speed of nature and the speed of life.

Sometimes life is too slow and we are impatient.  Sometimes it is too fast and we want it to stop.

Today, thirteen days after I brought them home, the branches still hold my attention.  Most of the flowers have now withered or shattered.

Petals are strewn across the tablecloth.  That is not a serious problem for me.  Something is always strewn across the tablecloth around here, and it is normally far worse and more difficult to remove than a few pink petals.

The branches have changed again.  They are not bare, however.  The few green leaves have become many.  At this point, there are more leaves than flowers.  Something dies and something else appears.

I am thinking about closed doors and open windows.  I am thinking about caterpillars and butterflies.  I am thinking about the nature of change.  I am thinking about chaos, about simplicity, and about Life, and how it is never the way we plan it out, or the way we expect it to be.

That is the adventure of it, right?

Sometimes life is messy.

Our family is preparing for a move.  This is a forced downsizing of our household, for financial reasons.  My life will change dramatically over the next six weeks.  Such is the nature of life.

Life is messy and stressful.

Life is surprising and interesting.

Life changes and we change with it.

One of my mothers-in-law ( I have two) refers to problems, difficulties, or struggles as Periods of Growth — as in, “Her husband left her with six children and no support, and wow, she experienced a real Period of Growth.”

My Period of Growth will be relatively minor, but I will grow and I will change.

It will be interesting to see how I turn out.

The Meaning of Color

15 Nov

“The meaning of a word – to me – is not as exact as the meaning of a colour.  Colours and shapes make a more definite statement than words.”

~Georgia O’Keefe



Color is evocative.  It’s personal.  It brings memories.  It shapes our mood.

I started thinking about the significance of color this weekend, after I joined in helping my friends Zak and Lindsey** paint a room in their home.

Lindsey joked that the visit might inspire some blog posts for me, because with their house in the early stages of a radical fix-up, “There isn’t a clean surface anywhere in the house.” I didn’t think that was strictly true, but yes, in the end I was inspired to write .

For the record, with the new paint we applied to the walls and ceiling, there are now some lovely new clean surfaces in their house.

The paint color was carefully chosen by my friends to recreate the look of a specific place: the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Park.  I’ve forgotten the official name of the paint color now, but it doesn’t matter.  Like Georgia O’Keefe said, words are not exact.  If I tried to categorize the color, you would get the wrong idea.  Let’s just say it is a warm color, and it makes me think of Pottery Barn catalogs, and Italy — or at least my idea of Italy, I’ve never actually been there.  I haven’t been to the Ahwahnee either, but I guess I know what color the walls are.

As the paint slowly dried, in what will eventually be Zak and Lindsey’s master bedroom, something happened to the room.  We all noticed how the color affected the feel of the space.  It wasn’t just a fresh coat of paint, it was a transformation.  Never-mind the absence of a floor, the broken window, and the dangling wires — the room was suddenly established as inviting, cheerful, and warm… a place to be, instead of just a work in progress.

That kind of change is exciting.  If we had painted the room white, I can guarantee that the effect would not have been as dramatic; the room would only have looked cleaner…a clean surface, but not an inviting one.

Color is a gift.

NOTES:

~I have written before about color, and the powerful effect it can have on me (see Autumn Bliss, Rediscovered).

~The two poppy photographs above are among my favorite personal photos, and their color-match with this blog is just a happy coincidence.  They were taken on a walk during a vacation in Stinson Beach, California.

**  I normally don’t use friends’ names in my posts, out of respect for their privacy, but I recently (quite accidentally) discovered that Zak and Lindsey are already mentioned — and even shown in photographs — in a blog by one of their other friends.  So, that bridge has already been crossed.  See this friendly blog post from David Easson who knows Zak and Lindsey, and their dog Hoosier