In college we had a friend who didn’t like change; avoided it like the plague and dread most people reserve for finding out that their leg has to be amputated.
But having left my birth country at the age of four, I only knew life as constant change. Every few years my family moved somewhere else so that my father could work on a different research project at yet another university. In my twenties I lived in Raleigh, NC for six consecutive years while finishing a bachelors and a masters degree, this was only the second time I had ever lived in one city for such a long time. The other being Gainesville, FL for middle school and high school – seven years.
Starting my fifth year in Qatar has brought a feeling many would consider comfort. Mind you in the last four years there has been enough change in the city as well as my personal life to challenge anyone: on those lists of "major life events" I’ve been able to circle at least five since 2005. Moved to a new country, got married, moved houses (4 times), finished a PhD, and changed jobs three times. Despite all of this and the accompanying adjustments, I’ve managed to change in negative ways as well.
Bad habits have crept in – long afternoon naps, too much time in front of the T.V., poor eating habits.
And now I find myself deliberately trying to instigate change in this steadying stream. I don’t have to go to a group exercise class to work up a sweat.
I can break out the Bose and try the video it came with, right in my own home.
I can snack on green grapes, a taste I love equally as much as the chocolate I’m used to reaching for.
I can stay in the office and do one more thing instead of going to the study at home where I’m likely to waste time on social networking sites.
It’s conscious, steady and deliberate but I am claiming my life back from those seconds which spill into minutes and the minutes that slip into hours which drain my life away slowly but surely into nothingness and mediocrity.
Share anything you’ve found to embrace or encourage change. And let’s remember in the words of the late Michael Jackson (how weird is it see that in print?) if we’re going to change anything in the world, it has to first start within.