This December, we held our family potluck “end of semester” celebration in a different room. For those of you who weren’t there, it was a ground floor room in the church, much bigger than the TCS lounge. The decision was born of necessity, but I was initially resistant. It’s not the same! It won’t feel as cozy! It’s not really “our space”! I’m not sure how others felt about it, but I know that I had to manage a little negativity around the change.
This happens to a lot of us, I suspect, that we resist small changes because we are comfortable with the status quo. We know what we know, and the emotional tension that comes from making those changes doesn’t always seem worth it. I also suspect that a lot of our participants have similar experiences in their lives. The challenge of doing something new seems daunting relative to the comfort of staying the same—even if “staying the same” means being stuck in a rut.
The potluck was a success on many levels. Many members of the community showed up, and there was room for everyone. Even people who sometimes don’t stay in these kinds of events stuck around for this one (Was it the cookie cake? Maybe…). People spent time together, celebrating the end of the semester and anticipating the holidays. I heard conversations about upcoming trips, about having free time, and about seeing distant family. The big space made clean up easy. I now fully accept that the new location worked just fine.
This experience also helped me to stay connected to the particular challenges of many participants in our community, including how difficult those small changes can be to manage. Now we are excited to be back in the groove and focused on the spring semester.