Changes are taking the pace I’m going through…
by David Bowie
Good grief! There’s been a boatload of changes this past year. Enough to make us crawl back under the covers. We thought last year was difficult — this year was crazy.
I went through a health struggle this past year. The circumstances changed me for good. Want to know what kind of changes?
“Yes Laura, tell us your deep, dark, dirty little secrets.”
“Whoa! I’ll never tell!” she says.
But I can share a few “lessons learned” from my experience:
We may believe there’s a single event that prompts a change. Like, “Today my world is X and tomorrow it’s Y.” (Ex: our wildfire. One day we had a house and the next we didn’t.) And yes, some changes are like that. But often it’s an ongoing recovery process. The adjustment we make to the “big event” is a gradual one where we adapt to new circumstances over time.
Rarely can we breathe a sigh of relief and say, “There! That’s over now.” It’s more likely you’ll wake up one day and notice that your decisions have driven away the drama. Perhaps you were so busy coping you didn’t have time to notice as the load was lifted. You were just trying to stay ahead of the “wildfires.”
We’re watching a TV series titled A Place to Call Home and in one of the episodes they presented two different endings. One option was positive and hopeful. The other was more dramatic and had a darker ending. (The ending they chose would surprise you.) Wouldn’t it be great if you too had more than one ending to cope with the changes in your life? That way you could put one “on hold” while testing the others.
Do you feel like you have to explain yourself, your circumstances or decisions? You don’t want to tell the whole world about your personal “stuff.” You don’t want to justify your actions. And you know that those who matter will understand. To heck with the rest. But it bothers you, doesn’t it? Most of us want to avoid misconceptions and dispel any doubts others may have. It may be a good exercise to have a few “stock phrases” to squelch others’ from prying. Here’s one: Q: How ARE you? A: Better!
It’s said we learn more from our difficult jobs, employees, or relatives than we do from the easier alternative. Whatever changes you’ve faced this year, know that the struggle wasn’t wasted. You’ll learn what you’re made of. You’ll learn what other people are capable of (for better or worse). Be kind to yourself, consider these tips and you’ll struggle less to manage change more wisely in the future!