Posted by: evedlewis | December 13, 2009

CHANGE…..

The one thing that is predictable is change.  Nothing is permanent except change.  The only constant is change.  No matter how you phrase it, I fully agree and concur with this ideology.  I also believe that to be a successful person on this earth, one must embrace, welcome and accept change.  There seems to be a lot of subtle change happening in this world right now, and I’m very aware of huge changes that are also occurring in my own life.  Obama’s “CHANGE” message seemed so perfectly timed, not only in the larger context of the turbulent times we face, but also when reflecting on myself. 

A few weeks ago I took some photos while going for a jog along the river in Jeonju.  The weather was pretty cold; however, there were still flowers in bloom.  I was able to get some pretty decent shots of the river and some beautiful pink flowers along the way.  I went for a jog today and passed the same spots that I photographed a few weeks ago.  The beautiful flowers bursting with color were now dead and gone.  The grass patches in the area are now brown and shriveled.  This vision reminded me of life and the constant changes we face.  What was once vibrant and glowing can become dull and dismal.  Whether in our relationships or in our attitudes towards life, there is sometimes a shift.  Because I’m so fond of growth and progression, this reality is somewhat depressing.  However, I realize that hibernation, standing-still, reflection and even death are all parts of life and change.  As I continued my jog, I continued thinking about how “change” has been such a dominant theme in my life right now.

When I first arrived in Jeonju, I was in awe of everything.  Like the colorful flower on the river a few weeks ago, I was glowing and bursting with excitement.  A small part of that has died within me, just as the flower has died along the river.  I am now experiencing the harsh realities of Korea.  I’m getting sick, I feel worn down, and I’m finding it difficult to adjust to some things.  I am still enjoying my time and all the beauty here, but I am simply more aware of the difficulties one faces when living in another country.    

I also went to a meeting for artists last night.  I will be participating in an art exhibition next Spring, so we had our first planning meeting.  We gathered at a very cool place called “Art and Travel”, which is an intimate underground lounge that welcomes artists and kindred spirits.   After the meeting, I got a quick tarot reading and was not surprised when I pulled the “CHANGE” card, and the reader pulled the “HERMIT” card.  I think the cards full meaning will be revealed slowly over time.  However, I thought it was interesting that of all the cards to pull in the stack, I reached for the “Change” card.   

Most of the changes that I have noticed have to do with my age.  I will be thirty-three in March, and I’m certainly in a different place mentally and physically compared to just a few years ago.  Most people, if they are lucky, live to be around age 75.  I am almost half-way through my life, and though I still feel young and full of life, I have had to embrace some changes in my mental and physical status as an older woman.  I am loving and accepting this term in my life, where I’m focused on my continuous growth, maturity and development.  I have always been really good with working hard and focusing on my goals; however, I have had to re-focus and move forward with tremendous force lately.  My drive and energy levels have not been as strong as  in the past, so I’m having to constantly remind myself that I must stay in full gear in order to be in a better and higher place in life.  I can’t sit around on cruise control and expect for everything to work itself out.  I must continue to take an active role in shaping my future. 

In my twenties, I  spent 2-3 hours at the gym each day, I worked full-time, finished college, and I was a full-time wife and step-mother.  In my 30s, I hope to set myself up for retirement.  I have come to Korea with some very specific missions – that must be accomplished within the next few months.  I have enjoyed having some fun and getting settled, but I must constantly force myself to remain focused on the ultimate reasons for my journey.  I am having to become more and more disciplined with my schedule.  I can only spend about an hour at the gym now, an hour on Korean lessons, and hour on-line (social networking), and hour on errands, an hour eating, an hour on “getting ready” and the rest of my time is spent at the school or on grading papers.  I have to create or “make” more time to finish my book and work on other projects.  Basically, I am becoming more and more aware of the hours and minutes in every day, as I get older.  I try to have a good balance of fun and work, but I have to be sure that I’m using my time wisely. 

As stated before, I am a “project oriented” person.  I can stay up all night – or a few nights in a row – and obsessively work on a project from beginning to end.  Or – I get up extra early sometimes, and like a mad woman, I knock out a million things all at once.  I get a lot of work accomplished this way.  I have noticed that although this has been effective for me, I need to get better at spending more time EVERY DAY on each project or responsibility.  As my goals and aspirations become more varied and complex, I must spend more quality time on each piece of the puzzle.  I am already pretty good with doing this – but I must get better.  For example, I work on many of my blog entries when I’m up late at night, or when I get up early in the morning (when my creative juices are at their highest peak).  I would like to get to a point where everything is more scheduled.  For example: Blogging should be done every Monday, Wed., and Thursday – or something like that.  I just read a great twitter article, which recommended that a good blog has about three-five entries per week.  I am far from that number, and I would like to increase my updates.  

I also still need to get more consistent with my work-outs.  I have been better – but I’m still not where I want to be yet.  When at the gym earlier this week, I was jogging on the  treadmill.  Beside me was an older man who was walking very slowly.  I admired his strength and dedication to physical fitness.  Although he walked slowly – his drive was in full gear.  I was reminded that I would be an old woman walking slowly one day.  This thought did not discourage me or depress me – it’s a simple reality that I’m constantly aware of.  I think most people don’t want to admit when they are getting older, but I have been very aware of the changes I have been experiencing with my age.  I have been walking more instead of forcing myself to run.  I am not afraid to admit that I am tired when I am.  I have been experiencing more physical body pain than I ever have in the past.  And – as I have already mentioned, I am having to get more sleep – even when my body refuses to rest.  I’m having to slow down a little and take care of myself more.  I am not “giving up” on my youth.  Instead, I’m simply realizing that I need to PRESERVE MYSELF.  I have spread myself pretty thin for many years, and I really need to be smart about where I place most of my time and energy as I get older.

Whether it be in my current relationships or in my activities, I have learned to be more focused on what I want to accomplish in the long run.  If I’m going to live a healthy life in my 40s and 50s, I have to be very smart about all my decisions and actions in my 30s.  So – these are some of the things I have been reflecting on lately as 2009 comes to a close. 

I just booked a trip to Taiwan, and I am looking forward to some REAL vacation time away from Jeonju.  I requested to take one week off from work after Christmas, and I’m spending 5 of those days in Taipei.  I hope to get some extra reading and writing done while I’m there.  Of course, I will also be taking lots of photos.  As the seasons change, I think it’s quite normal and natural to think about all the changes we experience as humans.  We become more introspective during the winter.  I think this vacation will be the perfect time for me to continue reflecting on 2009 and to start really preparing myself for a spectacular 2010.  I can’t wait! Yayyy!

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Responses

  1. Eve, I told you I be readin’ your blog. I like how you are using this time away (somehow, that sounds like you are “away” in jail) to reflect and reevaluate. Personally, I think we see things more clearly when we are away from our comfort zones.
    I think this is because we you are abroad you have time to think. We are not so consumed by distractions whenever we are in a different environment.
    I just turned 33 and I am becoming more acutely aware of my age. My latest age related thing is that I am always concerned if something is “age appropriate.” At times, I am confused about the proper way to behave. Is it time for me to be officially boring? Are there 30 year old things I should be doing? I feel that this is [30s] a very different place on many leves.
    What I KNOW is that I am going to keep living, learning, and growing. I feel that my best years are still ahead of me. And it sounds like you subscribe to this way of thinking.
    BTW, I really proud of you for doing this. There only small percentage of people who are able to do this. I think it takes an open mind, large amounts of patience and the ability to adapt.

    -Brian

    • Brian – thank u so much for your comments. I have been going through the same thing as far as questioning some of my behaviors. I’m in a much more serious and focused mood right now, so I feel more “mature” at this time – I go through my phases ;). I had a lot of fun when I first got here, but now it’s really time to focus on accomplishing my primary (and more serious) goals. I have always wanted to be a bubbly and highly energetic type of person, but this personality can come across as a bit immature. I don’t want to be an old, dry lady!!!!!! I have had to come to grips with finding a balance between being fun and being relaxed. 😉 I’m doing much more relaxation as I get older – and I MUST be okay with that. It’s really hard to type that last line and not erase it. I’m going to leave it there for now – but I really don’t feel that way completely yet. 😉

  2. Hey chickee:
    As usual this entry was very profound and thought provoking. I am very encouraged by the way your brain is skipping and trotting through the many changes of life. God has a way of making us slow down and take things in stride. We are part of the “popcorn” generation, and we want everything now and in a hurry, but we must take the time to put our lives on autopilot and get out and take a sniff of the air and notice the differences and adapt to the changes. Its really interesting to see how I can sense your mood change from one blog to the next. This blog felt like I huge down shift. It was very transparent and revealing and I love to see what is happening to you. I feel as though you are this speciman inside a tube and we are all gawking and pointing and reveling in your spiritual and physical journey and its so uplifting. I am very encouraged by your experiences and I am eager to see your transformation on the other side of this passage. As always you know that I continue to send out my prayers of safe keeping. I love you. (P.S. not sure why i wrote this seeing as how we email each other billions of times a day)

    • Hello my Nickalo – thank u so much for your comment. Although we do talk a lot through e-mail, I really appreciate u taking the time to comment on my blog. You are so right about us being the popcorn generation – we want everything instantly. We must realize that all good things take time. Everything is a process. Certain things are a very long process – longer than what we ever expected or wanted to accept. You are also correct about this entry being a complete down shift in my mood. I was extremely reflective at the end of December, which is not uncommon for me at all. However, the reflections were a little deeper this year, as I am here ALONE. You know that I don’t have an issue with being alone or being reflective – but – it’s definitely a transparent and slightly venerable place – so, I’m glad to share that side of me with the world. I love you too – and thank u for all ur support!!!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

  3. Hi Sweetheart 🙂

    This post speaks to the aspect of joy that is often so hard to bear, and that is, the aspect of loss. As life evolves, there are so many subtle processes; the beauty, the decay, the invisible…all somehow interwoven. You have described this connection so well! I love the metaphor of the pink flower and glad you are writing about the big picture – the true meaning of change in your life at this time. You have always managed to extract something meaningful from all your experiences, even when discovering the insight requires some time and examination. I wish you well with finding ways to structure time so you can readily access those insights of yours!

    The “Art & Travel” group sounds cool. I hope everything goes well…where you each enjoy some fun, inspiration, and share your talents with others. Synergy can be great with a good blend of ingredients.

    Can’t wait to hear about your experiences in Taipei! I look forward to your next blog update!

    Lots and Lots of LOVE!
    Mummie “S.O.W.”- Slow-walking Older Woman 🙂

    • HAAAAA!!!! S.O.W.!!!! You are tooooo funny Momma. I love you soooo much!!! Thank you for your endless love, support and encouragement. All three of you need to have blogs of your own (Brian, Nikki and you)!!!!!! I got the best comments from three excellent writers!!!!!! I am sooooo fortunate and blessed to be surrounded and loved by such wonderful people. Thank you God!


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