What, for heaven’s sake, do I have to adjust to? Plenty, I guess. Lately, “adjusting to change” feels like the theme that directs my days!
After nearly a year in my new job at the Beaver Island Community Center, I am still in the adjustment phase. I continue to grumble about the change in my schedule. At my last job, I worked from early morning to mid-afternoon (8AM to 4PM). Now, most days I start around noon, and work until 7PM. It’s not like I’ve been put on a night shift! Nevertheless, it’s a change that causes necessary alterations in my eating, dog-walking and sleeping schedule, and I’m still getting used to it. It’s also a continuing and joyful surprise to come in to such a pleasant workplace, with an always kind and supportive staff.
As I age, I continually have to adjust to changes in my abilities. I keep a magnifying glass always nearby these days, for when my bifocals are not enough. I depend heavily on my daily calendar and various other lists and notes, for lapses in my memory. I’ve learned to use walls, chairs and counters to assist with everyday activities, when my body fails to move or flex as I would like. Maybe my sense of smell is improving to make up for other losses, though. I got a bag of shredded soap “milk bath,” and put it on the stand in the bathroom, until I could get a decorative jar to put it in. Every time I walked into that room, I’d see that clear bag and think, “what is macaroni doing in the bathroom?” Then I’d catch a whiff of lavender-almond, and remember that it was shredded soap, not pasta.
After seventy years on this planet, it seems that I’d be used to the change of seasons. Not yet! This fall, I again walked in wonder through the beautiful colors, as if I’d never seen them before. I snapped hundreds of pictures, to add to the thousands I’ve taken in previous years, documenting every aspect of the metamorphosis of grasses and leaves. And, after more than seven decades in this climate, the first big snow always surprises me. As if, this once, winter weather would not come. It brings a sense of awe, at the stunning changed landscape. It brings memories of other winters, and it puts me right in the Christmas spirit. That is combined, always, with a feeling of dread, and a little fear.
Keeping the house warm is a big challenge in the winter, and includes the added expense of fuel to keep the heater going. The driveway needs to be plowed. Pathways have to be shoveled. Driving – and even walking – can be difficult when the road conditions include snow and ice. But, I adjust. I’ve brought my winter boots out of storage. I found the cleats that fit onto the soles, to make slipping less likely. I brought my warm parka and my knit cap with earmuffs out of the depths of the closet. And I think, how wonderful it is, that after all this time, there are still surprises in store for me, even if they force me to adjust!