I was born responsible, at least, that’s what my mother always says. Being a very responsible person, all changes in my life happen according to a plan. Basically, if I want a change, I plan to make it happen. This is the reason that it shocked me when my husband suddenly quit his job.
He did not have a good job to begin with. He lost his good job a few years ago due to budget cuts. However, his less than ideal job still brought home some money. I was waiting for him to make a careful created plan to change this situation. Instead, he showed up at my workplace in my break time and announced that he sent a text message to his boss that he was done. Yes, just like that! Apparently, they had a fight over the phone and he decided that he had had enough. First, I thought he was joking. It took me a minute or two to realize that he wasn’t. I almost had a coronary thinking, “Now what?”.
Being a super responsible person made me panic. I spent the next few days entertaining worse-case scenarios. The worse-case scenarios included not being able to pay the bills, my husband not being able to find another work or being stuck in a bad situation for years. I was worried!
Surprisingly, my husband was the exact opposite! He was happy to make the sudden change. He made phone calls to people he knew to tell them what had occurred. Two days later, a restaurant owner called him to inquire, if he would renovate her bathroom, now that he had all this free time on his hands. Having worked in renovation for many years, my husband agreed to do it right away. Thus, three days after he quit his job, he was working in his new job, making money. I was stunned! I stopped running the worse-case scenarios in my head.
Since he started his renovation work, my husband is much happier. He is smiling most of the time. He is incredibly satisfied that he made this sudden change. Not only that, but he makes more money in this new job that he feels much happier doing!
This made me think about the power of sudden change. Responsible people always plan ahead. We are praised for this quality. However, it pays to make impulsive and quick decisions at times. Maybe, the less responsible people have better luck because they are willing to take chances and make sudden decisions.
The great philosophical question is how to balance these two extremes. How super responsible should a person be? How impulsive can one afford to be? In what circumstances can impulsiveness work out? How can one make a sudden change work? How much chance should one take in order to make it work? So many questions, I have no answer for!
For now, I have been looking at my Buddha statue on my wall unit contemplatively. I bought this decorative item about twenty years ago. It symbolizes change. Buddhists believe that life is in a constant flux, a constant change. This may be true! But, I am still wondering how great of a sudden change this system can tolerate at once?! Or, maybe, I misunderstood the situation. Maybe, my husband hung on to his less than satisfactory job for too long and needed this sudden change. Maybe, the lesson is that we need to learn to go with the flow.
M. J. Mandoki