The problem with change.

Everyone says change is scary.

“What’s so scary about change?” Brad asked himself rhetorically, then looked back at HIS ENTIRE LIFE and replied to himself, “Oh, shit!”

Yeah. Change is scary. Even when you tell yourself it’s not. Even when the change seems so small. Case(s) in point:

This weekend I had a terrible argument with Michael about rinsing any dish before I leave it beside the sink for washing later. It was a terrible argument because we’ve had it so many times. Because I keep leaving unrinsed dirty dishes beside the sink. And the toilet seat up. And the medicine cabinet above the bathroom sink open.

“Why do you do this horrible thing? Why do you torment your husband so?” you might ask.

I’m not torturing my husband on purpose. I’m just as tired as he is of having the same arguments/discussions/lectures/cajolings over and over and over. Just as tired as I am of having the same voice lesson over and over. Or the same therapy session. Or of hearing myself promise myself repeatedly that I’ll do something different, something that will surely benefit me in everything that I do. And then not do it. Again.

They’re all good ideas. But they all have something in common. They all involve change.

I have to change my habits, they way I look at things, the way I manage my time. I have to change.

I have to be more conscious of how I do things from moment to moment. Blithely tripping through my day doing everything on autopilot doesn’t always cut it. Sure, not everything requires an overhaul, or my undivided attention. Every moment would become a titanic effort if that were the case. And really, not that much is wrong with me. Technically, nothing is wrong with me. I change to improve an already excellent existence.

The tool I will use to enact all this change is a simple one: attentiveness.

It’s a lovely thing I’m slowly picking up from mediation. Being fully present in the moment, rather than letting my fractured attention trip eight steps ahead of where I am and what I’m doing. It’s a re-training process, necessary in this digital age where every manner of distraction is creating people unable to pay attention to anything or anyone without being pulled away in a hundred different directions.

Try it some time. Notice what you’re doing, as you’re doing it. How your body feels, how your breath flows. Be conscious of your surroundings, of the activity at hand. You might find you become more thorough and more focused.

Or, at the very least, you may remember to always put the toilet seat down.

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