Image by Vardhana via Flickr
It’s not true that life is one damn thing after another; it’s one damn thing over and over.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay
Robert reconnected with a high school friend over the weekend. They spent a good two hours chatting over AIM. From their 'conversation' I learned that his friend is taking care of her mother who has dementia. Immediately my heart went out to her. Then she shared her troubles with her siblings and I found myself nodding my head and saying to myself, Yup, that sounds familiar. The conversation made me think that she and I are living life from a very similar script.
I often wonder about life and how it works. When I run into people dealing with the same issues as me, I ask myself: Is this my cue to help? Is this a sign of encouragement from the universe that I am not alone in my struggles? Is this proof that the experience of life is really not so different for all us human beings?
All these questions then got me wondering if life is a series of problems or really just one problem dressed up in different clothes? That got me thinking about the quote at the top of this blog post. Is life just "one damn thing over and over" like Edna says?
After considerable thought I have to say, Yes, life is one damn thing over and over and that one damn thing is change.
With each tick of the clock, everything and everyone in the world changes. Nothing stays that same, including ourselves. Even if we think we don't change, the truth is all the changes around us impact us and have the effect of changing us. Life is change, therefore the one task we are all challenged to master is adapting to change. Which means life is not really a series of problems, but a series of opportunities to change.
After disclosing her current set of circumstances, Robert's friend asked if she had overwhelmed him with all her current news. I guess she felt like she had shared a lot of unpleasant things that might have overwhelmed him, turned him off or made him tune out. Robert said no.
What his friend doesn't realize is that he lives with me, the Queen of Change. He's already lived through me taking care of my Dad with Alzheimer's and me dealing with my siblings. He's living with me and my life with chronic illness. Since my life has always been on the fast track of change, being with me has actually improved his ability to adapt to change. That's not to say that he doesn't still view all these changes as one damn thing after another, but I know he won't let change get in his way of being a friend.
Yes, I'm lucky to have him as my spouse and she is lucky to have him as a friend. And together, we will all just roll with the damn changes.