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Adele Elliott: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

 

Adele Elliott

 

They say when one door closes, another one opens. Sometimes it''s a window that opens. The portal does not matter. The meaning is the same. 

 

We think about these sorts of clich├ęs and axioms at the end of a year. The close of an arbitrary designation on the calendar leads to the beginning of another. These are man-made delineations, meaningless in the grander scheme of things. I suppose we humans need imaginary stops and starts. Without them, life would feel like an endless run-on sentence. Be grateful for that occasional exclamation point. 

 

But, somehow, this year seems more fraught with change. It is as if the calendar is in sync with our local world. 

 

This December, three couples that I know married. Those are personal landmarks, but truly significant. In some ways other people''s nuptials affect all those who are around them. We get wrapped up in the joy and sincerely wish them well. 

 

Other people''s "I do''s" usually lead us to think about our own marriages. Good or bad, wonderful or horrid, those marriage memories surface at the announcement of anyone''s wedding ... or divorce. We witnessed a couple of those in 2010, as well. 

 

In a more public vein, our city recently learned that James Tsismanakis will leave the Columbus Lowndes County Convention and Visitors Bureau. He will make his exit only a couple of weeks after the close of a very bumpy year. That means the CVB may be without a leader for several months. The search for his replacement has not even begun. 

 

The Columbus Arts Council has been sans an executive director since May. I can''t imagine how they function under those circumstances. Maybe this year will send them a strong new leader. 

 

Quite a few New Years have come and gone since David Bowie sang about changes. "Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, turn and face the strain." Well, except for ostriches, we are all forced to "face the strain." Too bad we can''t just bury our heads in the sand. 

 

I tire of hearing that "change is good." It may be good for diapers, but for most other things, change is terrifying. Humans love the status quo. We dislike being nudged out of our comfort zone. Eventually, we may see a transition as positive. Usually, that is eons after the experience. Personal growth? No, thank you.  

 

The new year is upon us, whether I like it or not. 2011 promises personal adjustments of epic proportions. This year I will welcome a new boss, I will be old enough to apply for Social Security and I will continue to grow older -- but, not necessarily gracefully. 

 

I send you all my best wishes for a very happy new year. May 2011 be kind to you, and may those doors close gently behind you. Let''s just hope we can say the word "changes" without stuttering like David Bowie.

 

Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.

 

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