Sitting under Cherry Blossoms

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Change, no matter how large or small, always makes me feel unsettled. It makes me feel different. Even the smallest wave can rock the boat of my life, throw off my routine, make me uncomfortable. And for the longest time, I thought that was a bad thing.

My sister came to visit on Sunday for a very brief trip between flights back to Amsterdam, and I got a glimpse into what it would be like to have her here. And then, just as fast as she came. she was gone. It didn’t matter that the trip was just about 48 hours, the house felt strange and empty once she had left.

But there was something else. Seeing her broke me out of my rut. The conversations we had got me thinking, got me wanting to read a new book, change the way I view my life. The discomfort of her leaving also brought with it a freshness. It was the same freshness that I feel when I’ve gone on a really good trip.

When I step away from social media for even a short spell, when I take a break from what I think I’m supposed to be doing, when I have a chance to spend time with someone new (not that my sister is new, but just that we don’t see each other often, so it’s a good change of pace), I feel a shift in me.

That shift, it seems, is telling me to pivot and to move in a slightly different lane than I have been. Make one small change to my life to live it more fully.

The small, few moments of discomfort bring me more clarity than forcing myself to stick with my rigid schedule just so I can feel “normal” in my own home.

Yesterday, the house felt empty and quiet, but the trees also looked fluffier and prettier. I noticed them because we’d gone to sit under them with my sister. I appreciated the sun because I’d been out in it more than I usually am. I took to heart the conversations my sister and I had together and am making use of them. My new normal might not look that different, but the path is paved with just slightly different gravel and is making me change for the better.

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