Saturday, March 03, 2007

Superstition – Sunday Scribblings


I'm not sure that I would call myself a superstitious girl, though I am cautious. I wouldn't step on a crack (for fear I'd break my mother's back) and if I spill salt, I toss some over my shoulder. My life hasn't really been governed by these practices. On the other hand, since I am a cautious person, I have had a life-long tendency to develop patterns and to stick with them. I even find comfort in these patterns. So I used the same ink pen to take every final exam I ever took at UCLA. I have a calming mantra that I repeat to myself in nervous moments. And the pattern goes further than that: for nearly every year of my life since I was a little girl, I have bought a new pair of Keds sneakers in the spring. There are other things as well, but I think that you get the idea.

I wouldn't say that I resist change, because I don't think that's the case. But I have always sought continuity in the midst of change and change that I didn't create or didn't want makes me very anxious. Sometimes it makes me feel utterly powerless. So the upheaval in my life last summer was unwelcome and hard for me. Because it was unexpected I hadn't had the opportunity to gird myself for what was coming. And in the aftermath, I decided that as I approach the age of 40, I need to do a better job of rolling with the punches, or at least being prepared to roll with the punches when they come my way.

So I have broken with some of my traditions. It makes me a little nervous to do so. But it also feels freeing in an unexpected way. I still got some new sneakers this spring, but they aren't Keds. I got some K-Swiss this year. It may not look all that different but it feels new to me. And when I look at my feet while I'm walking around in Florida next week I will hopefully be reminded that changes, even the unexpected ones, can be good.

9 comments:

Regina Clare Jane said...

This was a wonderful little read! The sentence that really spoke to me was "But I have always sought continuity in the midst of change,"... I think that's what life is all about really- and little things like new sneakers in the spring and using the same pen for exams really may not mean all that much, but sometimes... they do!

megnificent! said...

Hi! My mama used to call me little nicknames when I was little like "sassafras" and "doodlebug". I am 38 but turning 39 this year. I guess we have some things in common.
I enjoyed your post. I have become a "creature of habit" more than I ever thought possible! However, I am always open to what things may come!

paris parfait said...

It's certainly true that little rituals can make us feel safer or calmer in our environment. But change is good.

m.o.M. said...

Great post! Some of the things we do are pretty funny when you start thinking about it.

I hope your trip to Florida is good. We're expecting some really nice weather next week.

http://knitnswim.typepad.com/diagonally_parked/2007/03/am_not_are_too.html

NuttersNotes said...

You aren't superstitious...you are just grounded. I think that is a good thing. Wow....a lifetime of Keds and now switching to the K-Swiss. To the reader that doesn't think about it, it's no big deal. Breaking a lifetime tradition, however, is. I have a feeling you are going to like the upgrade.

Patty said...

But you covered your bases with your shoes by going with another brand starting with "K."

whitney said...

Very inspiring! Congradulations with breaking with some of the traditions in your life and learning to roll with the punches more. I need to follow your example and do the same with my own life. Change makes me very anxious as well. Keep up the good work!

Becca said...

I really enjoyed reading your post, and these lines in particular truly spoke to me :

"So I have broken with some of my traditions. It makes me a little nervous to do so. But it also feels freeing in an unexpected way."

I feel exactly the same way, and I've been trying to initiate more and more of my own changes lately, because I've found it to be more "freeing" than "frightening"!

Great post!

gautami tripathy said...

Cautious, habit, these stay with us forever. Letting those go away is not easy.