Coordinated Changes*

Coordinated Changes*


Julie is a midwesterner (Ohio) turned city dweller (New York), now living in a home on the range (Colorado) with her husband and two beautiful girls. She blogs at mothergoosemouse and is one helluva great person. If you aren’t reading her now, you better add her to your list. You will thank me!

Looking for Jenn? I am over at Julie’s blog, mothergoosemouse. See how this works?


*This post is part of January blog swap postings.


I’ve never taken kindly to change. Routine gives me stability, and stability is reassuring. Change entails an uncertainty and lack of control that sets my nerves on edge.

Even though my friends and I would sign each other’s high school yearbooks, closing with “Stay sweet! Don’t change!”, we all changed anyway. And some of us certainly didn’t stay sweet. The evolution of friendship has always thrown me for a loop, and it’s only been in adulthood that I’ve accepted that “Friends forever!” is a near impossibility. It’s too much damn work.

With one exception.

My husband and I were married nearly ten years ago. If our past selves met our present selves, they probably wouldn’t recognize one another. And yet, we still love each other just as much – if not more so – as we did when we married. Because we’ve changed in concert with each other.

Like the stock market, there have been ups and downs (some of them quite significant), but we’ve followed an overall upward trend. Because we keep in touch with one another.

It might seem silly to think that two people who co-habitate – who share a bed and a bathroom and both surreptitiously drink directly from the orange juice container – might lose touch. That’s what happens between you and your best friend from kindergarten who was the president of the College Republicans but now lives in a commune in New Mexico. Not between life partners. Right?

But I expect that we can all think of friends (or even family members) who’ve let themselves grow apart from their partners. Who watched their partner change, feeling helpless to include themselves in those changes. Who changed dramatically themselves, without remembering to bring their partner along for the ride.

I think the most difficult part to swallow is that these changes don’t happen overnight. They may seem that way, but the plot twists and turns many times leading up to that climactic realization of how far apart you’ve grown.

When I think back over the past decade, I recognize the times where we began to drift – where we started to think we couldn’t count on each other, when we didn’t seem interested in one another, when we couldn’t see the forest because we were tying ourselves to the trees.

“Don’t change!” is an impossibility, but when it comes to your partner, “Friends forever!” is not. It’s taken a great deal of effort and practice, but we keep coordinating our changes, and we get better at it each year.

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