The Winds of Change

I was wide awake in bed at about 2am the other night, as I often am these days. I was listening to the wind and thinking about this state we’re in. This whole new world.

It occurred to me that I really dislike the phrase “new normal”. The old normal was just fine, thank you very much. Some days were ordinary, even boring. But I was okay with that. Sigh.

Neither am I a big fan of change. I mean, certain kinds of changes can be really exciting, like a new car or better paying job. The birth of a child. Other, more pro-active changes can make you feel better about yourself; committing to a healthier lifestyle or working at having a more positive attitude. There are a lot of healthy, happy changes.

And then there are the life altering changes that are thrust upon you with little or no warning. Like the loss of someone or something, or a sudden illness. Or a pandemic. It’s when you feel at your most vulnerable, and you become very aware of how little power you actually have over many things.

We are shifting into a change of seasons now with autumn blowing in. The first of the rainstorms has hit, the air is a little crisper, and the leaves are starting to turn. We don our sweaters and light jackets. We think about bringing an umbrella if we go out for a walk. Soon we may turn the heat on in our homes for the first time in many months, and cover up the patio furniture. A change of seasons is something we are familiar with and know how to adjust to.

But how do we deal with a new and very different world we are also shifting into? This dreaded new normal? Thanksgiving will not look the same for many of us this year. Never mind Halloween and Christmas.

Well, we do what we’ve always done. We adapt, we adjust. It might not be as simple an adjustment as putting on a heavier sweater or grabbing the umbrella. But since we first roamed this earth, humans have had to learn how to adapt to all kinds of changes, big and small. And that ability is what has helped us survive as a species.

We’re lucky that we’ve had smart people to lead us safely through this pandemic and show us what changes we need to make. So far we’ve learned that there are many things we can do to keep ourselves healthy and hold this virus at bay.

Well, some of us have learned. There will always be those few who will refuse to behave differently, who will rant and rail against any small changes they have to make. I mean, as I said, I don’t like change either. But the way I see it, refusing to adapt to the threat of this virus is like purposely walking off a cliff.

Charles Darwin said “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

There is nothing we can do to stop the winds of change. Even if it blows.

A Not To Do List

I’m on my second-to-last day of holidays and the itch to write a to do list is driving me nuts.  I was going to wait until Monday, but instead I thought I’d throw out a “not to do” list (see below) just to satisfy my hankering.

My three week’s of vacation has been quiet, which is good.  I got back into meditation, I read a couple of fiction books, which I haven’t done for a very long time, we went for a few days to the mainland and saw family and friends.  We played a little golf, did some “tourist in your home town” kind of things, and we spent a lot of time just sitting in our little backyard haven.  We set up the backyard to be just that; we created a nice garden, built a little patio with some comfortable patio furniture, all to give ourselves a space when the weather is nice to sit and relax.  And it has come together quite beautifully.  So I would say, all in all, it has been a good and restful vacation.

It’s not to say that I’m going to be overwhelmed with students come Monday.  They will trickle back, actually, because many of them are still on vacation themselves, or are planning to start back in September which is a couple of weeks away.  Instead I will be working hard on scoring several television shows, which I very much enjoy doing, although it’s quite time consuming.  I have a website where you can listen to some of those compositions I’ve written over the years…it’s called Moonstone Productions.

But before I get back to work, here are two lists based on my holiday reflections:

7 Things NOT To Do When You’re On Holidays

1. Quit counting down!  Only two weeks left, only one week left…I mean, you’re on holidays, how dumb is that??

2. Email is a curse.

3. Stop reading weird things to keep you from being bored.  Like the obituary column in the paper.  You’re not in there yet.

4. Impatience is meant for when you are in a hurry, not on holidays.

5. Avoid mirrors and reflective store windows at all times.  Just in case you’re getting fat.

6. Don’t upload your photos to Facebook until AFTER your vacation.  Yeah, what are the chances of that??

7. Don’t answer the phone when you see it’s from THAT number.  That’ll ruin a holiday state-of-mind quicker than anything.  In fact, turn your phone off altogether.

7 Signs My Holidays Have Had An Effect

1. Driving to my golf game yesterday, I was singing along with my iPod playlist in the car at the top of my lungs.  With the top down.  People could see me.

2. It’s now exactly 11:18am and I’m still in my pajamas.

3. The house is a mess.

4. There was an embarrassing amount of empty wine bottles when we took everything into the recycling depot for a refund the other day.

5. I can almost recite the dialogue from every episode of Downton Abbey, I’ve been watching them so much.

6. I broke Rule #5 of things NOT to do.  Ugh.

7. I have no idea what day it is.  Oh yeah, it’s the second-to-last day of my holidays 🙁  Back to reality…