I put a new battery in my watch this morning.
This probably doesn’t seem noteworthy, and in and of itself it actually isn’t, but this particular watch has been carrying around a dead battery for quite awhile. And nearly every morning, I put it on my wrist. And I wear it all day. And when someone asks me what time it is, I pull out my phone to check.
“Why are you taking out your phone when you’re wearing a watch?” is the forgivable question that inevitably follows.
“My watch is dead,” I answer, in a way that implies it’s entirely possible I put the watch on that morning with the express belief that it was running just fine, only to discover later – probably with an annoyed little sound under my breath – that it had stopped.
Only that wasn’t the case. The fact is, I just never bothered to put a new battery in it. But I consistently strapped that watch onto my wrist every morning. Perhaps because it matches most of my outfits. Perhaps out of habit.
Or perhaps because things have changed so much in my life recently that I found a certain degree of comfort in hanging onto the one thing that never changed: the fact that my watch always said 3:45.
I am a big proponent of change when it’s my idea. I love new beginnings and trying different ideas and switching things up – but only if these changes come about because I have decided it’s time.
When others make changes for me, not so much. That type of change is generally much harder for me. I tend to resist change I am not ready for, and of course, “resist” is a pretty word I use to explain what actually happens – which is that my emotions take on the expression and demeanor of a bush baby on a caffeine bender.
So I kick and scream, then spend a lot of time taking bubble baths and crying and reading Susan Sontag essays and digging the big chunks of toffee out of a container of toffee crunch ice cream. I’m not saying this method of dealing with change is right for everyone, but it works for me.
Lately I have been going through those sorts of changes in my personal life, changes that were handed to me without discussion and without fanfare, changes that left me feeling confused and uncertain about a lot of things. And while all this was going on, the presidential election happened and now I’m watching my country shifting around me, less like a kaleidoscope and more like a bucket of broken glass dumped into a giant centrifuge machine.
So maybe now you understand why it was a big deal to me that no matter what else was crashing around me, my watch always said 3:45. I don’t know what was happening in my life at the exact 3:45 when the watch stopped, but whatever it was, it had to be better than this.
But I get into the pulpit every Sunday and I preach about faith. I preach faith from every angle, from right side up to upside down, and how faith can get us through the toughest of times in our lives. And here’s what I’ve learned… sometimes what sounds great from the pulpit, even to my own ears, can be mighty hard to put into practice.
I guess it’s a bit like how I felt about summer this year – I resisted its exit. I lauded the heat of July. I savored every moment. I gave a mighty stink eye to anyone who said they couldn’t wait for fall, and God help you if you posted a Christmas countdown on Facebook and it showed up in my newsfeed.
But summer left anyway. And autumn came. And as much as I didn’t want that change, I’ve adapted. Because really, what choice did I have?
So while I’m still watching the election fallout from a place of distant distaste, I’ve decided that the other changes in my life are ones I need to stop resisting and just embrace. Just wrap them in faith and see where they take me.
I wish I could say it’s easy. It isn’t. But it’s time. I decided, while I’m at it, to make a few other changes. I switched up my exercise program. I started writing a new book. I got a few new fall outfits. I changed the fragrance I wear. I’m painting my bedroom a new color. When I look around me and see positive change too, it makes everything seem a little brighter.
So… yeah. I put a new battery in my watch this morning.