They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. The internet seems to have no solid evidence of where this saying came from, or whether it is an idiom or a proverb. Many cultures have similar sayings. What I find interesting is the fact that the majority of the time I hear it spoken, it is about people. Not just old people, middle aged as well. I have also noticed that it is often used as an excuse. Maybe a person doesn’t want to do something, or hates change. This should not be so.
Years ago, a pastor I respected shared something to the effect that “when we feel there is no room for change and growth, like we have arrived, then we are in a dangerous place.” I tend to agree. As humans, we must be willing to adapt, learn to be flexible.
Over the years, I have been inflexible. Routine was my friend. Any unexpected requests thrown into my schedule caused stress, because I let it. I got frustrated and angry. “How will I get these other things I had planned for today done now?” “Ahh! Now I have to rearrange my schedule to add this car issue in”. With being the general for our house/shop build, routine has flown out the window. My Friday clean the house and prep for Sabbath has disappeared, Sunday mornings in the garden are hot and miss. Wednesday afternoon with the grands too. Now I have to prioritize my lists, and every day things have to get moved around because of the constant and changing demands of building. Calls to pickup supplies, pay an invoice over the phone, be onsite for an inspection, etc. Lack of routine has become my new norm.
I have two choices. Get frustrated that my routines have been turned upside down, or, realize that life will continue if my toilets aren’t cleaned every Friday. Admittedly, i find myself trying to establish new routines (maybe I can move my housecleaning chores to Sunday), but that can be frustrating too. So, I try to just do things based on priority.
It won’t kill me to hire someone to come in and clean once every couple months. The money we are saving on the house by me contracting still far outweighs the money I will spend on that. My pride needs some adjusting too. I won’t say this stretching has been easy, far from it. But, it has been worth it. I can see less stress in both myself and my husband. I was way more go with the flow when we took our trip to see family. That was helpful when we took a wrong turn in the country, when we were running late for something, and more. It was actually nice.
Today, may you learn a new trick, and like it!