Beginner's Heart

ben franklinBen Franklin is on record as having said, “When you are finished changing, you’re finished.” I LOVE that. And I heartily agree, although I confess: there are all kinds of change I resist fiercely.

I don’t like ANY  kind of changes to my schedule — if it interferes w/’my’ time, it’s a pain. I’m only half-kidding: I have this perfectionist gene (probably from my Grandma Skidmore; my mom & dad certainly didn’t have it), where if you want me to finish before I think something is right, I’m NOT going to be happy.

So impromptu stuff is always kind of iffy, if I have to ‘produce.’ Unless it’s writing, which I”m comfortable enough with that I can crank it out. A letter of rec, a poem for a journal edited by a friend or colleague, even editing your essay. I can do those w/ relative aplomb.

But changing around the family room, for my beloved? That was harder. I had to reframe it (remember how important reframing is?): had to remind myself how glad I would be to do this if Glen were in a rehab centre, away from me. And then it becomes an exercise in making the room comfortable for him, and efficient as well.

And what about doing the grocery shopping (normally at least 1/2 his job)? Or the other things that he did at least as much I did (filling bird feeders, running errands)…? Same thing. Wouldn’t I be grateful to do these things if it meant he didn’t have to be somewhere else?

via wiki commons

via wiki commons

Which is the truth: doing these things enables him to be here, in our home, with me. Selfish, self-centered, human me.  Who is NOT good w/ changes. Not most kinds, at least — except, say, a new flavour of ice cream. And certainly not ones that hint at… mortality.

So to read Franklin’s aphorism today — in a totally unexpected venue — was great. Affirming for me that change is NOT my enemy, and may well be my dear friend. IF I can bring myself to accept it. And even IF I don’t actually embrace it. 🙂

Thanks, Ben. I needed to hear this today. Most days, to be honest. So thanks. I am NOT finished. There’s still plenty of change left…

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