"There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stage-coach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place."

~ Washington Irving

January 27, 2002

Welcome to Wyndspirit Dreams! When I was planning to adopt a new kitten, my sister was dubious about how she would fit in with my senior cats. "Oh, they need their cages rattled!" I said airily. And rattled they were, but things calmed down surprisingly soon. The kitten learned to be unafraid of the huge males, and took such a shine to my female that she won her over by sheer persistence. My female, who is legendary for hating other cats, races around the house with her, sleeps with her, and even grooms her. And all four cats are happier than they were before their lives got shaken up.

Now itís my turn to get my cage rattled. I recently applied for a job I desperately wanted, but I didnít get it. That means the major change in my life will be changing accounts at my same company. I had hoped that, since a major change in my work environment was inevitable anyway, I could move on to a job I would like better. It seems that is not going to be the case. I am going to be stuck with the same job, just a new department. But even that is an improvement. As I spend my last few days working on this account, I find myself becoming more and more exasperated over dealing with the same issues that I have been dealing with over and over again for the past two and a half years. Hardware support will be more difficult than Internet support, but I donít mind. At this point I will welcome a new set of issues to deal with. Also, I will be getting training that will hopefully allow me to get a better job further down the line.

Change is scary, but even change that is not an actual improvement can be good for you. Just doing something different, a change of scenery, can inspire you and make you feel more alive. Itís a change in routine, which is almost always beneficial. Our brains need exercise, just like our bodies. Anybody who has spent time walking in pastures has seen cow paths snaking through the grass. Cows have the whole wide pasture to explore, yet they generally meander along the same deeply worn trails from Point A to Point B, breaking away to browse, but always coming back to the same rutted path. Our brains get used to certain paths, too. Everybodyís heard the phrase "stuck in a rut." Cow paths get deeper and deeper the more they are used, till they become so deep that they are actually uncomfortable to walk in, but the cows still use them. But, because they are mere cows, it would never occur to them that they might be more comfortable if they started a new path.

We are not cows, but we tend to do that, too. We stick with the same old thing even if we donít like it, just because itís easier than making a change. Why, if what weíre changing to is no more difficult, or may be even easier? Why is it so difficult to start a new path, even when we, unlike cows, have the brains to realize that it might be better for us? Well, for one thing, the deeper a cow path is, the more difficult it is to step out of it. You may even have to stretch your legs. You have to make an effort. You have to exercise. You have to think. People are basically lazy, and itís simply easier not to. But hereís the thing about exerciseóonce you summon up the will to just do it, you usually end up feeling better. Sometimes circumstances will force you to get that mental exercise, but you donít need to wait for life to throw you for a loop. Make a changeóeven just a little one. Start a new project, join a club, rearrange the living room. I can guarantee you'll feel more alive!
 

Wyndspirit Dreams
 meadowlark@wyndspirit.com
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