This should have been posted Feb 23: I was just too busy to get to it!
Also a warning: while I do come around to knitting in the end, this is more personal than usual.
You've heard all that good stuff: change is constant, life is change, the more things change the more they stay the same, etc. But no matter how much we are supposed to embrace it, change is rattling!
I am facing a big change. It's a change I chose, it's a change I have looked forward to, it's a change I am to be envied for. So why, for the past week while I've been packing up everything I own, have I felt grief-stricken and profoundly disturbed?
I probably need to re-learn and re-confirm some lessons I learned long ago.
Many years ago, something wonderful happened to my son: he won what seemed at the time a major piano competition, and he was only 12. We were so very excited for him, . . . but it had a terrible outcome for us! He was much younger than the other competitors, but we were encouraged to allow him to stay in a university residence with the others . . . and where we were told there would be adult supervision. But there was none--other than the lovely, teenaged, female competitors who kindly took him under their wing (which he adored).
So this kid came home telling us that we couldn't tell him what to do anymore! He had designated himself an adult overnight (after all, he had lived like one for 4 days), and we plunged headlong and without warning into . . . unpleasantness.
The lesson from that experience was that no matter how good something seems, there's always a down side to it.
And the obvious corollary would be that no matter how bad something seems, there's a lesson to be learned that will make sense of it.
And if nothing is ever wholly good or wholly bad, then nothing should be able to shake our foundations too terribly much.
This last lesson was sorely tested 4 years later when a much bigger change assaulted me and my 16-yr-old son and 14-yr-old daughter: my husband and their father died. Staying balanced through that was very hard but necessary. (After all, I had two teenagers at home!).
From it I learned another lesson for survival-through-change. Find out what you believe in, and keep a steady grip on that.
No matter what storm is going on around us, we need to find what gives us meaning and hang on for dear life. I did that after my husband died, I did that after the heartbreak of my professional life (when my relationship with XRX ended), and I've done that through subsequent difficulties.
and now . . .
So now a lovely change looms: I am leaving my condo to move into a house I have bought with my daughter and her (builder) husband. In 4 days I will move into their part of the house while they build an apartment for me; when it's done, I'll move into it; then after their part of the house is renovated they'll move in. We should all be enjoying the yard and pool by mid-summer.
So what's to mourn? In the end, it'll be wonderful! But it all came a little too early. (I guess that's the other thing about change: we can't always pick its timing?) I am not ready to leave my space and neighbourhood, so I am feeling a little sad as I pack.
Maybe there's the final lesson: it's okay to grieve. Despite all the comfort we can find from those other lessons, it's still okay to feel sad. If we swallow what ails us, doesn't that make us sick? And if I don't acknowledge my sadness, then I won't go looking for these lessons I've learned that help me get through it!
This whole thing is reminding me of mistakes in knitting.
Acknowledge the mistake.
Feel sad for a bit.
Learn the skill needed to fix it.
Fix it . . . and create something wonderful!
Start a new project!