Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Worlds We Build

[Photo was taken last year of some of my eclectic Christmas decor.]

I was playing tennis this morning with some ladies. They are three of the Saturday regulars for a round robin doubles group. (We play one set with each partner.) One of the ladies told me one time that her granddaughter had called her 'random.' I found this hilarious. Because this woman has built a tight little world for herself that is anything but random. She tries to schedule tennis every Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday. She will concede to play California or Australian doubles if she gets to stay on the doubles side. If it's a particularly fine day, she will play a set of singles with me. On Wednesday and Friday or days when tennis doesn't work out, she exercises in the gym, maybe walks back to the house. She plays Bridge at particular times in there somewhere, too. At home, she meticulously records shows on her VCR and watches them in chronological order with the result that she's watching stuff that is years old. She has a little 'nest' set up where she watches shows. She goes to bed before nine every night. Eleven months a year she works in the warehouse for the Settlement Home Garage Sale on Mondays. She and her husband go out with their children a few times a month. Anyway, her life is programmed and West Austin and some towns surrounding Austin are her unrandom world most of the time. She and her husband used to take lots of exotic vacations and they did recently take the grown up grandchildren on a cruise in the Mediterranean. But there is just nothing unpredictable or disruptive about her life. Which made me laugh when she told me what her grandchild had called her.

But, of course, we are all pretty predictable and mostly try to build our worlds so there aren't surprises, at least no unhappy ones. We know what activities we enjoy and schedule them. I certainly find a lot of joy in my little world, predictable though it is.

Every once in a while, though, you want to venture into someone else's realm. Or just introduce some surprise and chance into yours. Moving downtown has changed our focus, shaken us up a bit. There is something different about going to a Christmas party we usually attend at a law office at 8th and Congress but walking there from home. And then walking to the Long Center for the "Nutcracker." (Which we also always attend but this is the first time at that venue.) And then, while people wait for valet parkers, we walk back across the lake to Taste for a late night meal and drink, visiting with people who also live in the neighborhood.

Our new world isn't so different from the old, but we are inventing some new rituals. However, I think that today I will maybe, just maybe, go look for those bendable posable Christmas guys like in the picture and make this condo look a little like my old world.

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