A couple of weeks ago my country had an election and the results of it are a real shift in how things are done. Many people I know are terrified of how the changes will play out. I’ve spent some time anxious as well. So my usual online places are full of anxiety, outrage, calls for people to calm down, and calls to action.
Much closer to home, my congregation was reorganized last week. My church organizes its congregations (called wards) geographically. Where you live decides where you attend and who you attend with. The neighborhoods around my house have had significant demographic shifts in the past five years. Lots of apartment complexes have gone in, the average homeowner in my area is a grandparent rather than a parent with young children under their roof. These shifts left some of the wards seriously understaffed and other wards overflowing with new residents from apartment complexes. So they re-drew the imaginary lines which defined the ward boundaries.
The new boundaries have some of my friends, with whom I’ve attended for years, now attending different congregations than I do. It adds a lot of new people to my ward. My ward has a different number than it used to (7th instead of 9th). This means a complete shakedown in ward leadership. We have a new bishopric and new presidencies of all the auxiliary organizations (like youth classes, children’s classes, Sunday School, etc.) For myself, all of this is fine. But it means that my children will have new teachers, and I may have to go explain to those teachers about the special needs of my kids. There are conversations incoming, and I have no way of knowing if the conversations will be quick and simple or if I’ll be spending significant time and energy teaching people how to deal with my kids. I’ll begin to know who the new teachers are starting tomorrow morning.
On top of all the above change, we’re also remodeling. Oddly the remodeling has been more grounding than disruptive. The original plan would have been very disruptive. We’d intended to hire a contractor and do our best to stay out of his way. But the significant increase in our health insurance premium, and financial uncertainty surrounding how the new national administration will affect our business, made us decide to do more of the remodeling work ourselves. As a result, we’ve been taking the work in small sections. Move furniture from corner, paint corner, replace furniture, prep next segment. It is an odd, piecemeal approach, but it gives us time to think about each step as we get to it. When we get to the point of replacing cabinets, counters, and flooring, we’ll hire professionals. But the small stuff we can do, and we have been.
Taking control of the physical appearance of our house doesn’t actually help us control any of the other changes, but we feel better about all of it. We are slowly, carefully, piece by piece, creating the place where we want to live. I figure I can take the same approach with the other changes as well. I can pick a spot to focus and try to make that spot work as it should. On a community scale, I might spend a life’s worth of effort in a single spot, and that is okay.
For now, I have a ceiling to paint.