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In a world of fluidity and change constancy is a comfort. We like a lighthouse in our lives that stands still in the inconstant weather.  Alas there aren’t many of them; every year something we thought unwavering dissolves. The riddle starting with “This thing all things devours..” has for its answer “Time”.

I have been at the same job since 2005. Barring some severe lapse of judgment on my part or disaster to the clinic my postion is likely to last as long as I do. Patients find this reassuring. The ones who go away for a few years only to return are grateful “I am still there”.  Sometimes I think the ‘success’ of Medicine is to be with patients on their Journey more than what I do along the way.

I recently got a memo from The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections proposing ‘changes’. They made modest proposals to change the format, the font, the direction, and (if I don’t behave), get a new writer. This sounds like a classic case of Verschlimmbesserung* and should be resisted. There were no reasons given; I suspect they are just bored with the ‘same old thing’ and they want something new and shiny. After all they are Vikings: they are used to traveling and seeking out new places for ransacking and rapine.

While I ponder what to do with this Hobson’s Choice, I reflect on my own mixed desires for ‘same old comforts’ vs. ‘things new and adventuresome”.  I like seasonal constants but I also yearn for new things.  As I age my desire for novelty wanes. However I don’t want to become ‘set in my ways’ like an old geezer who won’t eat anything but four items and wears the same shirt over and over.  Now more than ever my inner-Auntie-Mame tells me to open a new window every day.

As for TBDHSR, I am going to delay their polite request as long as possible, hoping it slips their pugnacious Nordic memories in their next round of drinks at the Heirat.

*Verschlimmbesserung is a lovely albeit hard to properly translate German noun describing an action or intervention that is supposed to improve something, but it ends up making things worse instead. While there is good intent to better the situation it only makes matters more of a mess.

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