Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A change would do you good… ?

Forgive me another rambling, long-winded post today, friends, but this is one that’s been burling around in my brain for a while now.  

Ever since a month or so ago, when I was sitting in my pew at church, and our minister Nancy decided to play that game.

The one that I hate.  (Sorry, Nancy!) The one that other ministers, and former teachers, have tried to play with me several times before.

It’s the “OK, Everyone!  I want you all to switch places!  Those of you sitting in the back left, move to the front right!  Those of you sitting in the front left, move to the back right!  Those of you sitting in the middle, get up and move!  Find a new seat!  NOW!” game.

Oh Lord, how I hate it.

I remember being a kid sitting in church when  a former minister decided to try this out on us.  Our congregation tends to be very creature-of-habit.  The same people sit in the same seats, week after week.  Everyone has “their spot”.  Of course, this is always noticed by ministers, and they tend to try and shake us up, usually with the same lessons-to-be-learned in mind: you sometimes need to push yourself out of your comfort zone, or nobody here has a claim on a pew.

I remember that time when I was a kid well.  Because, while many of the people moved grudgingly, grumbling under their breath or sighing heavily, there was only one who actually refused to move.  He sat at the end of the pew our family sits in, bent over with his elbows on his knees, hands clasped in front of him, and a sharp, steely-grey gaze narrowed right at the minister.  He didn’t have to say a thing – his look said it all:  Just try and make me.

Ladies & gentlemen…My dad.

A creature of habit if there ever was one.  A man of ritual.  A man who disliked change, and fought against it with all his might.

And apparently, he passed all of those fine traits on to me.

I’m a little more willing to bend than my old man was.  When Nancy first declared that we were all going to switch seats that Sunday several weeks ago, I felt my face twist up into a scowl, and my first instinct was to totally balk, à la Brent Young. 

But I moved.  I followed my mom across the aisle to a pew several rows back.

I didn’t like it.  But I did it.

And then, when she went around asking everyone how they felt, she was met with these smiley, happy responses:  “I don’t mind sitting here.”  “I feel just fine!”  “No problem at all.”

I couldn’t lie, though.  When she asked me if I liked my new seat, I grimaced and simply said, “Nope.” 

Everyone chuckled, and Nancy told us we could all return to our seats if we wished after a few moments, but of course by then, my stubborn streak had been ignited.  There was no way I was about to hippity-hop back around the church again after that.  (funny to note, though, that my dad’s brother Reid was the only one who did return to “his” seat! something that runs in the family perhaps???)

But it’s at moments like this that I’m really faced with it:  I hate change.  I think many people do.  We get comfortable, we like our routines, and when the possibility of that being altered in any way arises, it’s unsettling.  Some are able to roll with it better than others.  I tend to dig in my heels a little more.  I’ve recognized it in myself – I’ve seen myself do it at work, at home, in my personal life.

It’s the reason I felt sick to my stomach for almost a whole month after I moved out of my parents’ house five years ago, even though it was just down the road two minutes.  It’s the reason I couldn’t eat for a week when I bought my new car.  The reason I researched TurboFire for weeks before finally taking the leap to a new, healthier lifestyle.  It’s the reason I want to burst into tears when I’m told I need to learn a new procedure at work.  If I’m being entirely honest, I think it definitely played a big part in my dropping out of university after only 2 days.

And right now, I honestly feel like it’s at least part of the reason why I’m still single.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  It’s not like I have boys lined up banging down my door or anything.  But in the past, on the few odd occasions when a guy has expressed an interest, I really haven’t given them much of a chance.  I get super-nervous, I dwell on all the ways my life will change, and then I run.  And I hide.

Strange for a girl who whines all the time about wanting a husband and babies, right?  I know. 

I know.

Getting married and starting a family has always been my dream.  And yet, when I think about putting myself out there – going out, looking for a good man, signing up for on-line dating sites or whatever – I end up retreating. 

I don’t have time for that.  I’m busy every evening working out.  I like watching 4 episodes of Dexter each night if I feel like it.  I like going out for supper with Mom and watching a movie with her on Friday nights.  There’s no room in my bed for him.  I don’t have TIME for a relationship.

The truth?  The unknown scares me.  Being outside my comfort zone terrifies me.  And thinking about shaking up my routine in any way makes me feel all panicky.

Awesome.  Thanks for all of this, Dad!!!

I know it’s time.  I’m feeling better about myself than I ever have, and my self-confidence is finally there.  This is when I should be seizing the moment and putting myself out there.  I should be embracing the change and all that comes with it.  I took the steps needed to better myself, and now it’s time to reap the rewards, if there are any to be had.

Instead, I find myself settled right into my rut and quite happy to be there.

I know a change would do me good.  I know that it’s time to move around and try something new.  Time to listen to that voice inside my head that’s saying Get up and move to a new seat, dude.  Just do it.

It’s all up to me.

*sigh*  Easier said than done.


Amy said...

For someone who's so afraid of change, you've made some majorly impressive ones in your life over the past year. Maybe you're not as afraid as you think ;). Great post and congrats on Sunday.

VandyJ said...

Baby steps. But you gotta keep taking them, or you'll never get anywhere. The process can be scary, but the results are amazing.

Jen said...

I love what Amy said!

Jillian said...

I'm such a creature of habit too! I'm to that point in my life where I want a relationship too but I'm terrified of putting myself out there so I totally know how you feel. My few attempts of putting myself out there in high school left me rejected and miserable and I'm not sure I want to feel like that again. I've gone through a lot of change too this past year and I'm thinking its time to leap into the unknown

Connie Weiss said...

You know what you need to do and why you want to do it. Forcing ourselves out of our comfort zone is hard!!

You can do this!

Angie said...

I think I have some of that trait in myself. Maybe not as much as you but at least some. You know that you can't do the same things over and over though and expect different results. If you want something, you have to at least try and go after it. You can do it!!!

Jo said...

Yip I think that Amy hit the nail on the head

Stacie said...

Cut from the same cloth, you and I. But like Amy said, your change track record is looking pretty awesome right now!

Nancy said...

I am soooooo sorry, Jillian. I hereby officially and publicly excuse you from ever having to change pews again! Thanks for being a good sport, and you definitely got a point, even if it was not perhaps the one I had meant for us to get.

Nicole said...

I don't like change either dearest! Mark wants a kid with me and I'm scared about how that will mess up what we currently have going for us. Heck, I dated a guy for 5 1/2 years because I got into the comfortable rut. Just know you're not the only one who falls into these ruts and I'm soooo happy and proud of you for your weightloss. It has really inspired me and I know I say that but it truly has!