Let’s talk about change

Photo by Kit Flynn.


By Kit Flynn

It took me a long time to realize that I’ve grown more conservative the older I get. No, I’m not talking about political conservatism. What galls my conscience is a change in my routine life. Plain and simple, I oppose the retirement of anyone who’s on my (nonpaying) support staff.

This was brought home when my beloved ophthalmologist informed me that he plans to retire sometime in 2025. I thought, “How could he do this to me?” Yes, my reaction was all about me.

I have nurtured him for at least twenty-five years. He has put up with my neuroses, he saw me through two cataract procedures even though he didn’t actually perform them, and he willingly sees me twice a year even though he assures me that two yearly visits are unnecessary. He has promised me that he will recommend a suitable replacement, which means that I, a proud Silent Generation member, will eventually have to break in a new doctor.

I have threatened both my dentist and my periodontist that I will personally come back to haunt them should they dare retire before what I call tactfully “my timely demise.” I am now tactically approaching all my medical authorities, explaining to them that I truly dislike well-deserved retirements.

I then heard from my builder, my rock, who’s been in my life for 26 years, that he planned to live in South Carolina for six months and the North Carolina mountains for the remaining six months. I don’t begrudge him his decision to retire – yet, I have this awful feeling of desertion. The simple truth is this: A girl must look out for her own interests, a failure both my ophthalmologist and my builder are failing to consider.

Don’t get me wrong: I can deal with change if I initiate it. Recently, I determined that I really needed a new computer. Even though my old one still had plenty of memory remaining, it had become sluggish, and Word refused to update. It was time.

I hadn’t counted on my thirty-two-year-old desk chair deciding to lose a caster on the day the new computer arrived. This was a change I hadn’t considered, making me rather grouchy. Would the Chapel Hill store where I had originally bought it still be in business? I knew that the office chains wouldn’t deliver a simple desk chair, wouldn’t bring it upstairs and wouldn’t haul the old one away. It was mandatory to go local if the Chapel Hill store were still in business.

Fortunately, not only was it in business, but the employees were also extremely helpful. The good news was that prices had come down in price during my thirty-two years of desk chair ownership, and the manager agreed to sell me one of the floor models, announcing he could deliver it the next week.

When I looked at him cross-eyed and sternly, he realized that I was into instant gratification, so he stuttered that he could deliver the new chair and haul away the old one that very afternoon. There is nothing like personal service when one is anticipating unanticipated change. He also assured me that the chair would last up to “my timely demise,” an important feature since my willingness to ponder desk chairs is rather limited.

Don’t get me wrong: I have tolerated a lot of changes in my life since Covid. I have switched to driving an EV, although the first one I bought was too low to the ground. Realizing that getting in and out of it would never get any easier, I opted to trade it in for a model that was considerably higher. That was a tolerable change precisely because I had thought of it.

I now have solar tiles residing on my roof. I have adjusted to the new computer. What I don’t like is change in items I never have had to think about, such as keyboards. My new iMac came with the sexy keyboard that Apple has put out for way too many years.

Alas, my old keyboard with its clacking keys, which I loved, could no longer be attached to the new iMac. This new keyboard is wireless – how long does it last before it needs a charge? Will it just stop midway into writing an article? Plus, it makes no sound, and the keys aren’t even one-quarter of an inch high. I would have bought a gizmo that allowed me to plug the clacking keyboard into the new computer except that this new keyboard actually has a feature I rather like: It’s a fingerprint key that opens the computer immediately. It also has the ability to enter in my innumerable passwords. I am accepting this new change, albeit rather grudgingly.

Nothing irritates me more than when Costco moves its products around. Now I love Costco, but its butter seems to hop from one place to another as do its coffee filters. The store also will suddenly stop carrying products that I have enjoyed. Its smoked salmon travels, its V-8 juice no longer appears in large containers, and the pretzels get lost. Still, Costco has the best roast chicken in the whole world, so I repeatedly forgive it for its sudden changes.

What I have realized is this: While change is inevitable, it sure can make me crabby.

After being an active member of the Durham County Extension Master Gardeners for 13 years, Kit Flynn now holds emeritus status. For five years she was the gardening correspondent for “Senior Correspondent” and shared “The Absentee Gardener” column with fellow Master Gardener Lise Jenkins. She has given numerous presentations on various gardening topics to Triangle organizations and can be reached at howyourgardengrows@icloud.com.

This reporter can be reached at Info@TheLocalReporter.press

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