Thursday, June 15, 2023

Always Room for Improvement

The nature of things is to change.   

For me, this is in contrast to my assumptions; life while full of change is more comfortable to me when it is at least to some degree predictable.  Having lived through permanent illness in my family several times over, change isn't associated with progress in my subconscious.  

Still, taking a step back reveals that indeed most of the change in my time has been very good for me and for many others.  The haunted parts of the past tend to be more heavily weighted in my mind than the positivity that is more common.  I think this may be true for many of us. 

Given the dualism that is represented in our time, I feel it is ever more important to consciously choose things that tend towards the positive.  Negative stuff will find us, of course.  The universal balance of things demands that, and we cannot control what finds us.  However, we can indeed control our choices.  Proactive choices are important. Model railroading is not a life-or-death choice, of course, and so it is a great spot to choose to be proactively optimistic.  

This central theme above is why in a busy stretch of life I am working with others to help.  6577, pictured here, is an important locomotive on the Onondaga Cutoff.  

Ever since it was featured on the cover of Model Railroader magazine, it's been a flagship for the railroad.  Garden State Modelworks subsequently was able to install working auxiliary lighting in it, and their work made a good model great.  

Still, it was missing a detail - the handbrake chain mounted below the engineer's cab window and extending down to the front truck.   With the auxiliary lighting complete, and the engine tuned up and ready to go, it was finally time to add one more detail.  

It's just a bit of chain, secured with eye bolts and some CA glue.  But it's a visible one and adds a little fine-detail finesse to notice.  It's a detail which shows improvement, right?  And that is an important point.  Admitting that makes us able to stay grounded, to keep growing, to keep accepting change in our world - and opening the door to things getting better.

There is always room for improvement.