Sunday, February 6, 2011


Change. It’s such a small word with such big consequences. Some people like change and others not so much. I like the changing of the seasons. Though here in South Texas there is not much change to speak of in that area. But even so, after spending more than half the year with daily temperatures above 80 degrees, it’s nice to have a slight change come fall and winter. But I like the weather overall in this part of the country, so after New Year’s Day, I am usually thinking about when it will get warm again.

So could you say I like the weather change or I don’t? Hmmm.

I like to change the arrangement of furniture in my house every now and then. I like the different perspective it brings to a room. When I come into that room after the furniture has been moved around, it’s almost like I am living in a new space. So I got the feeling of new living quarters without the cost. Strangely though, I have recently acquired larger pieces of furniture which are much harder to move to a new location. My couch is bigger. My bed is bigger. Heck even the TV is bigger. So has success (in that I can afford bigger stuff) thwarted my ability to change? Wow—I just compared furniture to a psychological barrier to a life transformation. Either that was a sucky metaphor or I have some intense furniture!

But sometimes people like me who enjoy certain changes are extremely resistant to others.

Example I have been thinking about, hell, sometimes fantasizing and dreaming about, a new job. I know I am blessed and fortunate to have a way to make a living in this uncertain economy. But even in a bad economy, a person can be in a less than perfect job situation. And so the current lack of abundant jobs has been a reason for my lack of effort to make this move. My job situation can best be described as an emotional roller coaster. On certain days, everything about it is just fine. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy solving problems with limited resources. I enjoy providing quality goods and services for the customers I encounter. Those are the peaks in the roller coaster ride. But what I do not enjoy are the valleys on this ride. Those are the days in which, through no fault of my own, I am suddenly chastised because the rules have changed. And I was not informed of the rules change so I invariably break the rules. (I blame genetics for this, I really do. My family has been known to have bad luck for years. We do not win raffles; if a product has the possibility of breaking, it’s the one we buy off the shelf; and we stay as far away from Vegas as we can.) So of course, if rules change without my knowledge, I will find a way to break those rules, and then I am in trouble. So you can see that I should welcome the change for a new job, were one to present itself to me.

Well said job presented itself to me. And I resisted. As a matter of fact, I actually did more than resist; I turned down the opportunity. Now it was not the ideal job. And I am not looking for the ideal job. Hey if Google sent me an email or called me saying would I come to Mountain View to work for them, I could overcome just about any psychological barrier to get on that plane and say “C-YA!” to my employers. I don’t expect that job to present itself. But, due to some networking connections, a decent opportunity did present itself.

Like I said, it was not the perfect opportunity at the perfect time. There were some concerns I had such as I would have to give up a significant amount of free time prior to getting the job. Then once I had the job secured, I might have to work longer hours. But there were also many benefits to the job. I would office in artsy-fartsy central of SA. I would have a ton of autonomy. And I would be making connections with fairly wealthy people on a regular basis.

So what the hell was my problem? That is what I have been asking myself ever since I made the decision. Well that’s not completely true. I have had my good days on the roller coaster ride but hitting several valleys in a row (yeah I know that is not possible on a roller coaster unless of course, you hit a valley, then go lower, then go lower until you are underground—wait I think I just described my job. Hey I can still laugh about it!) has made me rethink my decision.

So what is stopping me? I know pretty much the situation on both sides. Staying means more of the same highs and lows, with the lows seeming to outnumber the highs for the last several months. Jumping into the new situation means some certainties and other uncertainties.

Ah there’s the rub, isn’t it?

It’s the fear of the unknown. If I stay at the present job, I know what can be expected. But that is only to some degree. But then again if something unforeseen happens, I can rationalize to myself that I was taking the best course I knew at the time. In the end, though, I am only offering an explanation to myself, no one else. So either way, if something unforeseen happens, I have to cope with it.

Sure there is less possibility of something unforeseen happening in the present situation. So it is safer, then, isn’t it?

Strangely enough, I have a similar situation with, well, trying to decide whether to buy a new truck. Yes it is not as life changing as a job. But I am still dealing with unknowns, all financial. Safe means staying with the present vehicle, though I’ve heard about problems with the model and it just doesn’t seem well put together. Fear means buying a new vehicle that I know will be better mechanically but I don’t know if my gas costs will rise.

Looking into the abyss, I don’t know what dangers lurk. But I know that adventures and wonder and good fortune make be hiding there. Until I leap, it’s an unknown. After I leap, it’s too late.

Or is it?

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