Here in the UK, the clocks went back at silly o’ clock this morning. I am from South Africa, and so The Dude has a 30 year head start on me in acclimatising to the sudden shift in time.
I love the long summer evenings, and the way the day seems to never end, making afternoon picnics stretch into evening conversations with friends as the sun meanders casually towards the horizon. I love cold winter nights. The sun hidden away, bitter winds howling outside. Warm soups, and laughter inside as friendship and love chase away the coldness. I hate the switch from BST to GMT and back again. It takes me weeks to adjust. Weeks.
But I have no choice. Time, and how it is measured and described, isn’t about to change to suit my South African sensibilities. I know I can change the world I live in, but there are limits. Besides, if I was going to change something that big (and I still could), it wouldn’t be that. I’d rather just teach myself not to be grumpy that my world is out of synch for a few weeks.
Thankfully, life’s not always like that. We have done long distance driving over the summer – The Dude and I taking turns at the wheel as we explored the beauty of this country we call home. It’s been fun (particularly thanks to cruise control), but every time we changed driver, there was a slight delay. Mirrors adjusted, seat height lifted or lowered, one or two other things. Sometimes we’d forget who drove the car last. For me, that means getting in the car and a brief freefall as the seat turns out to be lower than I expected. But you adjust things, and it’s quickly sorted and you’re on your way.
But how often in life do we treat big changes as little changes, and vice versa. How often do we fail to recognise that yes, it might look like “just a little thing”, but actually, it affects everything? How often do we fail to allow ourselves the space to adjust for a few weeks? Sometimes, the change is bigger than you realise. Sometimes, you just need to give yourself a bit of time to get used to it.
Conversely, sometimes we sit in the uncomfortable car seat, unable to see properly, or reach the pedals, and wondering why it’s so uncomfortable trying to drive our life. But only you can adjust your mirrors. Only you can reposition your seat. It may be uncomfortable because you haven’t realised that now you are in control, and you need to make the changes.
The tricky bit is, knowing which one is which.