Changes

1991 was an important turning point for me because that was the first year I ever voluntarily watched the World Series. I recall, some weeks earlier, I jokingly asked someone at school how far behind the Braves were that season, only to learn that the team was number one and heavily favored for post-season play. The last time that happened was in the early 80s and it was short-lived. Any Atlanta fan born after the brief period in the 80s when the Braves did well enough to almost make it to the World Series came of age during the era in the 90s when this was a regular occurrence.

Growing up in Atlanta, change was a constant, as the city underwent rapid transitions throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The early 90s brought the Olympics, and since I was in New York until 94, I found a radically different town than the one I left. Much of my nostalgia for the city comes from the nineties. I was in the Jaycees and spent a lot of time in and around town. The rise of the film industry and the increasingly bad traffic led me to make my own change in 2019, moving farther South.

Change is often the only constant in most of our lives. We change neighborhoods, we start school or graduate, we move from job to job, or take unscheduled breaks from work. I currently find myself in such a situation, having left the job I was doing most of last year and not certain what I’ll do next. The opportunities in my new home, when they come along, are vastly different than what I’m accustomed to in the city. I’m not exactly the sort of worker most employers are seeking. It’s quite a change for someone who has never before had trouble finding employment.

Over the past few years, I’ve made a number of changes in my own behavior. I’ve altered my dietary habits and developed an exercise routine that gets me out of the house early each morning to take a long walk. Some of these changes were due to medical necessity. My habit of walking early developed from my tendency to wake up around midnight or one a.m. and be unable to get back to sleep. One morning I said, “To hell with it” and went out for a walk. I discovered that the world was vastly different at three- or four-o-clock, few cars or people and more animals, including birds, deer, herons, and an occasional coyote.

It’s said that the more things change the more they stay the same, but I’m inclined to believe the more they change the more they change some more. We need to embrace changes and welcome them in most cases as they clear out the cobwebs and give us a fresh perspective. While we may have no control over the changes we encounter, we can accept change as a natural part of being alive and find something positive in the experience.

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