Getting Out of Life's Ruts
Spring is the season for fresh starts and trying and doing new things
It makes perfect sense that over the course of a lifetime — or even over a year — that your tastes change. “Always” is a relative term. As I tell my sons, “It’s all good until it isn’t.”
Lest you label me a pessimist, that phrasing is merely a reminder that it’s optimal to know that you can expect miracles, but you can also be prepared for things to occasionally go in a different direction. Sameness is not the best default, and repetition can also be a rut.
The status quo is just that, the state at which it is now. Being agile and nimble is best — that way you are not caught off guard by new developments.
I was not prepared though for my preferences in many arenas to begin shifting quite frequently. Perhaps it is the onset of spring — amen — or a sense of needing to push the reset button that has me convinced I have “favorites fatigue.” I wonder if I am the only one in my neighborhood or circle of friends who suddenly is weary of what has been here all along, tolerated and even enjoyed.
I just don’t like the same things I did, say, a year ago. Not the same foods, not the same wines, not the same kinds of movies, not even the same kinds of books, music or TV shows. What I always found enjoyable tires me out. I want something different to watch, to eat, to sip, to read or listen to.
And it has me wondering if that is a good thing, or if predictable is the way to be. No one likes the quixotic chameleon who is always saying or doing something you hadn’t planned for. How would you ever know what restaurant to pick for lunch with her?
But it is also not admirable to be set in your ways, to always have the same ideas and answers, as if they are running on loop. I am perplexed by people who go to the same restaurant every week and order the same pasta Bolognese or clam chowder year after year after year, textbook examples of habitual behavior.
For me, nothing traumatic has happened. I am not in a mad haste to erase my present and past. No packing up and moving to Montana to raise organic vegetables, no purging and redecorating on a large scale. I continue to adore the furniture that was my parents’ and some of the touches around the house that were my grandparents’.But frankly, I just don’t like some of the same colors or objects anymore, the ones that I thought defined my style. My tastes are changing. I like new things.
And I don’t want to look the same as I have until now. That does not mean I have dyed my hair violet — a few friends have done that — but I feel that so much of what surrounds me has outworn its splendor. I just find many of my old favorites to be just plain old and not so favorite anymore. Not the purple coat, not the white comforter, not the black boots.
No, I am not a convert of decluttering guru Marie Kondo, though a lot of what she espouses makes sense. I only know she would collapse into a trance if she opened the door to the storage area of my basement. Three grown sons who store all their everything there for safe keeping have it filled to the rafters. I am tired of that, too.
This has me wondering if something is wrong with me or if, perhaps, something is right in my wanting to make discoveries, to learn new ways to be, to look and to live. If this is the definition of a midlife crisis, then it is too late on my time line, because mid-life would mean I am living until I am 120 years old, and I am pretty certain that will not be the case.
A dear friend has redecorated different areas of her home four times in five years and each makeover is even more spectacular than the one before. (Her turquoise-and-silver phase was stunning.) It is as though she is constantly upgrading, not even allowing herself to grow tired of her surroundings. Quick! Another set change! I admire her drive, but I am not that ambitious.
Perhaps what I am experiencing is a life spring cleaning of sorts, a reshuffling to air out, move out and move in new expressions of who I am today. I am wanting to do things not so much out of habit, but out of daring and experimentation.
Just because I have always liked something doesn’t mean I will always like it. I am not tied to that preference for the reminder of time.
Taste is relative and inexplicable, perhaps. Change is everyone’s prerogative. Unless I change my mind and decide it’s not.Edit Module