There are two ways of embracing change. The first is to embrace it. This is the way that involves excitable announcements, late-night planning conversations, lists, photos, maps, associated purchasing and public celebrating.
The other way is to see potential change as a vertiginous cliff edge that should be kept clear of, preferably with the assistance of fences, warning signs and a strictly enforced let’s-never-visit-this-place-again policy.
My husband loves change – particularly the hours of internet research and aforementioned late-night planning conversations it inevitably allows. Which is either an indication that his life is perpetually disappointing or underwhelming, or it’s a sign that he thrives on the adrenalin of constant movement and reorganization.
I, on the other hand fear change like the grim. Maybe not fear, that makes it sound as though I have no control over it. On the contrary, I simply work very hard to prevent the need for it. I am the master of its irrelevance. It rarely gets the chance to take root. Which is probably why I love surprises. They offer absolutely no time to worry about the after effects.
So the outcome of our completely opposing attitude towards change is that any conversations based on the future have, in recent years, taken place around the kitchen table, a couple of empty dinner plates and far more than the recommended number of empty wine bottles. And more often than not it’s approaching midnight on a Thursday. Thursday is the new Saturday in our house – if Saturdays were ever actually the night to get accidentally and focus-loosingly drunk in your own house in order to make any progress in decisions as far reaching a next Easter. Maybe Thursdays are just the new Thursdays. And really the only looser is Friday.
We used to make our decisions walking around Waterlow Park, officially London’s best-kept secret. Now I have to have a glass of something French and a resolve to not take any previous resolves too seriously for a few hours. We’ve had loads of lost Fridays over the years, and I’ve been party to loads of lovely decisions while pretending not to mind about having the carpet pulled from under me and life-change plans swing slowly into motion.
And then, eventually and inevitably, comes Monday morning, and the under-medicated cold light of day. The changes that seemed so easily embraced while my reality was being massaged by the hypnotic glow of weekend family life are suddenly once again a threat to everything I base my stability and happiness on. It’s a puzzle; one easily solved no doubt by a few weeks of abstinence.
Footnote. Things I have omitted from my observations: 1. I fear change because my father left when I was 11. I mean, really, what cod psychology tish 2. The main source of our ‘change’ debates is the subject of secondary schools, and the possible suggestion that I might detach myself from my heartbeat and move out of town. Let’s see just what real fear can achieve.