My old computer died yesterday. It was 14 years old and a reliable clunker of a machine. I wrote books on that computer, thousands of reports, a couple of poems and every blog until this one. Now sitting in front of me is a new computer tower - a cast off from a friend who upgraded not long ago - and I feel like I'm at the beginning of a whole new relationship. One thrust upon me, not one chosen.
I don't replace things easily. Long time readers will remember that I was all excited a while back about getting a new chair. I was embarrassed to follow up with the fact that the new chair wasn't exactly right and I was supposed to replace the order and get the right one. I'm still in the old chair. I desperately need the new chair, but I like this one. It's comfortable. It's got a history with me. I know it's just a chair, but it's my chair.
These things I hang on to are no real problem for me, they are just quirks of personality, we all have them. But right now, thinking about this, I realize that the problem that I have is that I don't let go of much. Once I get an idea into my head, it takes emotional dynamite to blast it out. Once I have a way of doing something, I churl inside when change is suggested. Once I have a preconception (nice word for prejudice) it's set for life. I do change, I do grow, but almost all change and all growth is rooted in the bedrock of my belief system. This makes it such that while I grow and change, that just means that I become more intensely me - a bigger tree but with a new branch.
This is not always good.
I was talking to someone from an agency who wants to change. They want to bring in a new approach to supporting people with disabilities and they want me to help them do that. I'm thrilled about that. I love it when people come to the point that they realize change is necessary and that grow comes from a radical reviewing of past in order to move on to an exciting future.
"But," they said, "we don't want just rehashed stuff you've done in the past. We want you to come with new and fresh ideas. We want you to rethink what you've been doing and why. We don't just want what you do by habit, we want what you do when you start fresh."
Hey! HEY! They're supposed to want to change. Not me.
I'm in my fifties, I'm almost past my due date.
If I was a jug of milk, I wouldn't drink me.
However much I resent the challenge, I'm going to take it. I'm going to refresh myself by looking carefully at what others are now saying. Taking a look at some ideas that I just summarily tossed out. When I was young, I used to love learning and changing and being open to new ideas. Now I get a cramp just thinking about thinking.
But, tomorrow, I'm going to make a list of what I believe.
Then I'm going to evaluate those beliefs carefully.
Maybe you can teach an old dog ....