embracing change . . .

by mulberryshoots

You know how we hear a lot about the concept of change? The only constant in life is change, etc. etc.? Some people are wary of change and do not welcome it because they’re happy with what they think is the status quo. I think of myself as liking change because I need and want a lot of stimulation, which is why I read so much and explore new topics, poring over books, listening to CDs by musicians that I hadn’t heard of up to now. All that new stuff to think about and consider.

Today, as I was going through my stacks of magazines as part of my Unhoarding Exercise, I came across a copy of “Shambhala Sun” a Buddhist journal with the phrase, “Embrace Change” on the front. I got around to reading the article this afternoon (which is why Unhoarding takes such a long time) and realized for the first time that while I have thought that I embrace change witnessed by all of the aforementioned activities, that I’m not at all sure that I embrace change that much when it comes to my inner expectations.

For example, take Christmas. Lots of people don’t like the holiday that much–I have an antique dealer friend who said to me yesterday that she “hates Christmas.” But that could be for reasons I don’t know much about since although I’ve known her for a long time, I haven’t known her that well. What I realized by reading the article, though, is that I’m very wedded to tradition. That is, I like decorating my tree in a certain way; I plan gifts ahead of time so that it becomes a Wizard’s puzzle in order to fit everyone’s things into approximately the same amount of money spent for each person with gifts that are magically personal each year to each recipient, and that there be an overall sense of equality (and perceived as such) held by the whole family as well. Every mother knows what I am talking about.

This year, we decided to forego filling Christmas stockings because it’s become a big expense and though charming and fun, lots of the items are lost or aren’t used as well as they might be. So, no stockings this year. We also have more travel and scheduling logistics to coordinate every year, it seems, so that introduces another element of change as well.

For example, instead of having a big Christmas Eve dinner and then an equally big Christmas day dinner, I’m thinking of doing the real Christmas Day dinner the night before on Christmas Eve: one of my daughters and her husband leave around midday on Christmas Day to visit his parents who live in Ct. so Christmas Eve is the only time that we’re all together during dinnertime. I am even thinking about making pizza magheritas for supper on Christmas Day as there will only be four of us and one toddler.

Just so you know though, the Christmas Eve repast will remind us of merry Olde England this year: some nice red wine to accompany Roast Beef (filet or prime rib), Yorkshire pudding and gravy, citrus salad with pomegranate seeds, a cheese course with port and mince pie. Homemade chicken liver pate with madeira and shrimp cocktail will be offered with sparkling Minuetto Prosecco to start. Surely there will be tasty leftovers from this feast the next day for us to still enjoy.

Christmas aside, I am also thinking about embracing change in the way that I think about how we act towards each other. It doesn’t have to be the same. We can notice that we can be more casual, more open, less open, more patient and forbearing or we can take for granted that everyone will always behave the same way.

Times change. People change. That we know for sure.

So tonight in anticipation of these changes, I’m making a pizza with a Boboli whole wheat crust, adding sauce made from pureeing some San Marzano tomatoes, simmered with garlic, a pinch of salt and a dab of sugar. Fresh mozzarella cut into thin slabs, fresh mushrooms and basil leaves placed across the top.

I never make pizza. Embracing change. It smells pretty good too!