I Hate Change But I'm Afraid to Fix That

I've always hated change. I hate it when something I'm used to has to become something else. Like getting rid of a favorite t-shirt or getting rid of my car because it broke down permanently.

That doesn't mean I don't like new things — I love new things. I love getting new gadgets. I love watching new movies. I love trying new restaurants.

But I don't like replacing the old things. I don't like getting rid of my old phone. I don't like when an old movie franchise gets a new actor. And I lose my ever-loving mind when my favorite restaurant goes out of business or eliminates my favorite dish. Both are equally horrible.

I like to think that I'm easygoing and adaptable. I'm not, but I like to think it. I'm only adaptable and easygoing as long as I can pout and sulk for several days because something is slightly different from how it used to be.

Part of my problem is that I love streaks. I love doing something every single day without fail, and I get upset when that streak breaks. My current Wordle streak is 77 days, but my max is 102. I nearly rage-quit the last time I missed a day, so now I have a reminder on my to-do app.

I once carried the same Pilot G-2 .5mm pen every day for four years, replacing empty cartridges with full cartridges taken from other Pilot pens and then throwing away the barrel. I went through nine brand-new pens that way and planned to use this pen for the rest of my life.

Except my daughter snapped the clip off, and my wife thought I was being unreasonable for trying to glue the clip back on.

I've tried overcoming my fear of change, but I've had it all my life, so I don't want to break the streak.

It gets worse whenever I go on a trip for work because I know my wife will invariably make major changes to my life. She often encourages me to leave the house whenever she gets an itch to make a change. Or gets tired of me.

Once, she completely changed our entire house, but I managed to find the new one.

During another trip, she remade the living room. She moved the TV from the east side of the room to the west. She also swapped the two couches.

We have two almost-identical loveseats, and I have my favorite spot on my favorite loveseat. 

Or, rather, I had my favorite spot. I would put my arm along the back of the couch and fiddle with the upholstery staples. I also like to sit on the right side of the couch with the end table near my elbow. That was my seating arrangement for years, and I was happy.

Except not anymore. Not only was I facing the wrong way, I was on the wrong couch on the wrong spot on the wrong side.

My choices tormented me. Do I abandon my spot or my couch? Do I keep my side or stay near the end table? I didn't watch TV for a week while I wrestled with my decisions. I finally chose to be near the end table, but I don't know if I did the right thing. It still haunts me to this day.

It's also happened when we changed bedrooms. I like to sleep on my right side, on the right side of the bed, with my back toward the middle. And I need to be farthest from the door.

But when we travel, or we move houses, my whole life is turned 180 degrees because the bed is either facing the wrong direction or against the wrong wall, and I have to sleep on my left side or the side nearest the door.

This week, I'm returning from a trip to Indiana, and my wife informed me that she has changed around my garage office. 

I used to have a nice office in the dining room with a small desk, large bookshelves, and I could easily reach the kitchen for mid-morning munchies. Or a post-lunch plate. Or late afternoon appetizer. Or pre-dinner dessert.

But I returned from a trip to find my office was now in the garage because my wife decided that my comfort was somehow less important than eating dinner as a family.

And now I have been informed that she has upended my life again. She wants me to start doing TikTok videos and has turned my office into something more "organized" and "respectable" and less of a "hobo camp." 

I don't know how I feel about this. On the one hand, my life will be completely changed, and I'll have to get used to a new way of doing things.

On the other hand, she does this every time I go on a trip, and I'd hate to break the streak.

Photo credit: Monstera (Pexels.com, Creative Commons 0)

My new humor novel, Mackinac Island Nation, is finished and available from 4 Horsemen Publications. You can get the ebook and print versions here.