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The agony and ecstasy of change

September 21, 2022 - 00:00
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I’ve been in the mood for change lately. When I told this to my gentleman friend, he said, “Uh oh.” I told him he was safe but I do have this urge to change everything else in my life - from my writing to volunteer activities to furniture.

Arriving at a decision to change something is a laborious process for me. It usually involves months of research, and as with my wonderful coffee bar, even experiments! It’s hard not to feel uneasy when buying something that is more of a want than a need at my age; however, I didn’t realize how predictable my “process” is until last weekend.

A quick trip to Hobby Lobby for frames morphed into contemplation of buying a cabinet for my bathroom. My 1970s loo is short on space and this cute, vintage sale piece screamed my name. But compelled to measure first and give serious consideration to the impact on my existing space, I left empty-handed.

Back home, as I stood with tape measure in hand, measuring this way and that, trying to envision the cabinet in my bathroom from all angles, my gentleman friend finally said, “You know, I watched you go through this same process buying your car, your mattress, your washing machine, your dishwasher and your coffeepot. If you get it home and you don’t like it, sell it in a garage sale and ask twice as much as you paid for it!”

He was right of course, but I tell myself that the days, weeks and months devoted to decision- making pay off because I’m usually happy with my purchase in the end. Satisfied that I could make this cabinet work, we drove back to Hobby Lobby only to find that the two cabinets in stock had sold! While he didn’t say ‘I told you so,’ the comment about “He who hesitates…” pretty much did!

I guess what they say about wanting what you can’t have is true. On my computer late that night, I discovered that the Brenham Hobby Lobby had ONE left. I was there at 9:05 Monday morning! Getting it home by myself wasn’t without its own challenges. Despite my precise measuring and expectation that it would slide inside the backseat, I had to put it in the trunk. Then I had to buy rope and tie it down myself. Thank goodness, I had in my possession a tiny little pocket knife given to me by Judge Joe Fauth. I then tried to replicate my late husband’s knot tying ability and with the trunk lid as closed as I could get it, I carefully drove back to Navasota. I called my gentleman friend for moral support on the ride home and constantly monitored that my knots were holding. Both the cabinet and I made it home in one piece. Yes, it takes up some additional space but I’m happy with the look.

My husband’s death forced me to make some major decisions about my life. Surprisingly, while I agonize over small ones, some of the bigger actually came easier. Call it nesting, call it boredom with my surroundings, but I hope that the desire to shake things up once in a while symbolizes an enthusiasm for life.

In this 1945 poem “Youth,” American businessman, poet and humanitarian Samuel Ullman wrote, “Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

The column represents the thoughts and opinions of Connie Clements. Opinion columns are NOT the opinion of the Navasota Examiner.

Clements is a freelance reporter for the Navasota Examiner and an award-winning columnist.