Saturday, September 26, 2009

Game, Set.......New Match?

Generally speaking, there is usually a trade-off when one makes a change in their life. Changing one's weight requires one to give up their current way of eating. Changing one's addiction to drugs or alcohol requires changing one's coping mechanisms. Changing jobs requires a leap of faith that the new job will be more fulfilling. Going from owning your own business to working for someone else requires forfeiting some freedoms. As I am about to embark down the latter path, this is the one aspect that has me slightly rattled. Yesterday I had to announce to my tennis group that I would no longer be available to play our weekly Wednesday tennis match as we have been doing for the last 8 or 9 winter seasons. Months ago, I wrote a blog about just such routines, the ones we look forward to, not the ones we abhor. This group of 5 women (myself included here) have been a constant in my life that I have come to appreciate more with each passing year. As I would have expected, they were happy for me and the changes I am about to embark upon, but they were also disappointed that our group dynamic would be changing. There was some talk about trying to change our permanent court time to another day that would suit me better but the likelihood of that happening is slim. I did appreciate that they wanted to try to hold the group together and were willing to adjust, but it may not be possible. It's not like I will never see them again, but it won't be the same, and as much as I like to imagine that we will all still manage to arrange playing together, the fact of the matter is it will be harder and less frequent. It is a reminder to me to never take my friendships for granted. Sometimes we think things will remain the same forever, that our established routines will never end and we skip along merrily, never imagining the things we love doing will be affected, but inevitably, change comes. It comes with illness, death, marriage, divorce, moving and changing jobs, to mention a few. Beginnings and endings are part of life. It's the time in between that counts. The now. Looking back over the years with my "tennis ladies", I am happy to say I did appreciate our matches and our time together. I didn't take them for granted and I still don't. We started out strangers and became friends. Although I may be playing less tennis with them, they won't become strangers again. They will always be my friends. There are some things that are impermeable to change and that is one of them. The ball will definitely be in my court to book games with them now. If I can ace that, things might be different, like an old racquet with new strings, but it puts a more positive spin on this change with barely a service break. Maybe it will be game on....after all.

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