Ode to the Small Changes

For months, I sat in the same spot in my coworking space.

Front table, first seat on the street-facing side.

January 2, I decided to mix it up. I walked in, put my mittens on the first back desk, and immediately thought, Nahh, I’ll go back to my old spot. It’s better.

Of course, it’s not that it’s better, it’s that I know it better. I’m familiar with it, don’t have to think about it, and that makes it safer than the back desk

Now, let me paint the scene for you: The front table and the back desk are about nine feet apart. I could whisper at the back desk and be heard at the front table. Not to mention that the back desk is closer to the kitchen, bathroom, and printer.

But change of any degree - and even if it’s for the better - can be threatening, can’t it? The pull of the safe familiar is so strong. Which is why I decided to switch up work spots. It’s low-stakes, small potatoes. But with it, I’m nudging myself along to be more at ease with change. And change, whether we want it to be or not, is a key architect of human life.

At the back desk, I put my backpack down next to my mittens and took out my computer, banana, pen and notebook. I still had a mild craving for the front table.

Caitie, this is nudging, I told myself. You make small changes so that when big change gets handed to you, or you realize you need to hand yourself big change, you’ll be less fearful of it.

I’ve stuck with the back desk for days now - in fact, I’m writing this from it. Soon, I’ll change to another spot so I don’t get too rigid about the back desk.

And that’s so much of what small change is about: easing our clench on the familiar and opening us up to the unfamiliar.

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