Making Friends With Change

Everything Changes. Nothing Remains Without Change. (The Buddha)

Hello dear Reader.

It’s good to be back with you. I know it’s been a while, but I don’t like to pester you with a bunch of words based on some artificial schedule as in: “Oh, it’s been 2 weeks, gotta write something.” My words to you, for better or worse, come from my heart – what I’m thinking about, or feeling – which I want to share, and I never know when that is going to happen.

We spend our summers in Vermont, in the cabin we used for weekends when we lived in Montreal. The experience of my trip here a few days ago stirred up some memories, which led to a reality check about just a few of the changes which we are all living through and must make room for. I thought I’d like to share some of that.

Want to know what love is? My sweet Laura got up & drove me to SFO, in time for a 5:40 flight. Big, BIG “see you in a week” hug – best part of the day!

Then, I inject myself “into the system”. I ask myself: “I wonder where I’m gonna sleep tonite?” I go in.

First up: The bag (& money) drop, where I actually do drop my bag, and $25.

Security isn’t open yet. It’s 3:55 AM, 5 minutes to go, so I have the opportunity to watch the Homeland Security folks setting up our maze. Now, I have to say that going thru a maze isn’t so bad if it’s filled with people. It kind’a makes sense – Disneyland, the bank, customs, even security at the airport – it keeps things organized. But, if you really want to feel stupid, be the first one to enter one and walk alone 50 feet back and forth in order to go 10 feet straight ahead…humiliating!

Next up, surrender my shoes, belt, and all my possessions into the conveyor, praying they wouldn’t find an excuse to confiscate my two cheeses – who knows, right? They can have my toothpaste, no problem, but please, not the cheese…”don’t move my cheese…”

Then, it was time to get naked for the unseen operator(s) of the body scanner gizmo. Who are those people anyway, and where are they?

Finally, all dressed again. Time for breakfast: $8.95 for a breakfast Panini, $3.50 for coffee, and $2.35 for water. A memory pops up: I’m sitting with my dad at Schwartz’s in Montreal, and the waiter announces that the price of the smoked meat sandwich has just been raised from $0.35 to $0.40. My dad hollers to the server: “What? 40 cents? I used to pay a nickel for these!!” Now, 60 years later, he turns to me at SFO, and asks: “did you just pay $3.50 for coffee and $2.35 for water? FOR WATER???”

On board, 27C is a really narrow aisle seat, but necessary – male geezer plumbing issues. BTW, about those body changes? Now THAT, (to quote Obama in ’08), is “change you can count on”. My seatmate is a really big lady, squashing me, causing my shoulder to protrude into the aisle. That part would be OK, except that the two stewards are also big people. So I get bashed every time – really, every time they pass me.

Now, those of you who know me know that I’m not exactly Boney Maroney myself, so I hardly have cause to complain, but that, plus the tiny bag containing six pretzels they offer me, does ignite the memory of my first flight anywhere, in 1959, to Europe, on a BOAC (before they became BA) “Comet” aircraft, – the world’s 1st commercial jetliner. I remember a dude in a starched white jacket & black bow tie carving CHATEAUBRIAND (yeah, Chateaubriand, I’m not kidding!) in the aisle, serving it on English Bone Chinaware, and asking me in a heavy British accent: “How do you like your meat cooked sir?” HA!

Actually, I have another really clear memory of that trip – the LIDO nightclub in Paris: dozens of gorgeous, bare breasted Parisian ladies dancing their routines really near our table, wearing sparkly G strings, a few feathers, and nothing else. Oh yeah, almost forgot…shoes. The show, I remember well – the Tour Eiffel and the Louvre not so much. What can I say? I‘m a sixteen year old guy, first time in Paris. Cut me some slack here, OK?

But, I digress…

And now? Now, I skip the LIDO and head straight for the Louvre. Now THAT’S a change…huh? Being OK with this one is a toughie I admit, but thinking about  it makes me smile – a life change!

Bottom line? It was a really good day. I got from San Francisco to Vermont in ONE DAY, and safely. When I’m moaning and whining to myself about the security, the pretzels, and the narrow seats, I like to think about Lewis and Clark, and what they endured to make the same trip.

And then, when I got here, something really real. The patient, enduring waters of Pacific Brook, tumbling right past my deck, on their way to the sea, asking me: “Michael, where have you been?” Soo worth the trip!!

I have a Godson who I am crazy about. Around about when he was graduating from high school, he said to me: “G-Po, my friends are all going in different directions. Everything is changing and I don’t like it. I don’t like this thing called change.” My response at the time was something like: “Eth, this thing called change – make friends with it, or you’ll never be happy.”

How often do I struggle to follow my own advice.

Dear Reader, make room for change, and please,

Be kind to yourself,

About Michael Scott

Michael Scott is a life coach, author and teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. After spending 35 years in business - coaching found him - and he's never looked back. Michael uses his coaching training and experience, in the service of his clients, as their constant and loving guide towards joyous, fulfilling lives which are genuinely their own. He lives with his dear wife in Sausalito, CA.

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