Embracing Change

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If you even remotely know me, you know this fact about me. I am a creature of habit and like to plan everything. I am the master of the list. This year I bought 3 wall calendars, my son bought me a planner for Christmas, and I bought two more for myself. I go to Dairy Queen first thing every morning for my large diet coke. 

We were talking about change just today at my book club. Our book club has been in existence for 12 years now. Some of us are original members, some have dropped out, and some have joined over the years. One of our long-standing members is moving out of state though so I was teasing her and asking if we were just going to have her join in via Zoom from her new home now. Someone jokingly said, you know Holly doesn’t like change.

My current job came about when a friend called me one day and said, I know you don’t like change but listen to this opportunity you might be interested in…

As I said earlier….it’s not a secret that I’m not a fan of change.

Is Change Always Bad?

I associate change with bad things so I’m fully aware that this is a mental block for me. We moved from my small hometown when I was 10 when my dad got a new job. My grandmother lived 2 doors down from us and my aunt three doors down and the majority of my extended family lived in that small town. I made it very clear that I was not happy with the move…sorry mom and dad.

We moved to Wichita, Kansas when Michael was one for a job promotion my husband had received. We were excited at first even though we were both moving away from all of our relatives. I was homesick, my husband was not thrilled with his new job, and then he passed away unexpectedly. Talk about change. Our lives were turned upside down with that one…

 This last year has had a lot of changes also. It’s been a lonely year. One kid has been away at school and the other one moved for a new job. I feel like there’s been very little time with friends between Covid quarantines, friends that are working non-stop, my own work schedule being extra crazy, and other friends who have hit that stage where they are running non-stop with their kids extracurricular activities. You throw in a minor surgery for me and then a case of Covid and I’ve had WAY too much alone time. I’ve always been pretty good at entertaining myself but I have struggled this year.

That doesn’t mean change is always bad though. I will be the first to admit that I am struggling mightily with my empty nest but honestly I am excited for my boys. Nick is graduating college in two weeks. Michael graduated last year and is working full-time at a new job in Indianapolis. I’m crazy proud of both my sons, and obviously, as a parent you’re raising them to be independent, productive members of society. I knew one day they would be spreading their wings and heading out on their own path but somehow I still wasn’t prepared. Time to really embrace my next stage also.

And although I loved my former co-workers and really liked my last job, it was a good career move for me to leave when I did. There may not be room for upward movement in job duties/titles at my current position but I’ve expanded my skill set and the benefits/pay are better and eventually I’m optimistic that the hours will be better. 

Learning to Embrace Change

So is it possible to learn to like change? Or at least not fear it? I think so. Like most things in life, I think it’s possible to change your mindset or train yourself to change your ways. (Obviously not everything, for example I will NEVER be a morning person, lol).

  • Change your mindset

Don’t assume that all change is bad. Yes, I don’t like my empty nest but I do love watching my boys and seeing their success as they graduate college and move on to the next stages in their lives. I miss them being little and being busy with their sports and extracurricular activities but I enjoy the “adult” conversations we have now on a daily basis. Yes, I said daily because they both call me nearly every day because they’re awesome like that.

  • Look for the opportunities

I was very comfortable in my last job. I’d been there nearly 11 years. I knew how to do my job, I loved my co-workers, it was conveniently located, and it had allowed me the flexibility to be available for my kids activities. I wasn’t looking for a new job but thankfully when one presented itself to me, I was open (although a bit terrified) to step outside of my comfort zone and take the new opportunity.

  • Listen to the Universe

I mentioned earlier that I had both a minor surgery and then a case of the Covid over the last year. Both situations required me to be off work much longer than I expected. At the time I will admit I was not listening to the universe (or anyone else for that matter). I stressed about work, I had a pity party that my illness stopped me from all the fun things I had planned with family (especially the Covid that quarantined me for 2 weeks over my birthday). Looking back at it now, I should have appreciated the fact that maybe I needed the time to rest and believe it or not, things did not fall totally apart when I wasn’t working crazy hours at my day job.

  • Realize Change Can Lead to Growth

I’m a writer and an avid reader. If the characters in my books, regardless whether they’re ones I’m reading about or that I have created, don’t change in the course of the story then it’s most likely going to be a very boring story. Ask yourself if you’re going to be happy if you’re in the same spot in 5 years or even a year. Maybe you will be and if that’s the case then great! I don’t want to be in the same exact spot though, not a year from now and certainly not in 5 years. 

  • Be Proactive About Change In Your Life

Sometimes change happens to us. My husband’s death is a great example of this. I didn’t have any say in that. There are many things we can be proactive about though with change. 

Pouting about my empty nest and not enough time with friends is an example of this. My reaction to these changes over the last year was to throw myself into working long hours at my day job. Granted this was a crazy year and longer hours were needed to an extent but have I really needed to work over my scheduled hours most nights AND come in on the weekends too at times? Nope. My boss certainly doesn’t expect this out of me, that was a reactive decision to the changes in my life that I didn’t like.

What can I do proactively to react to these changes? I can work reasonable hours and then do something for myself that’s positive. That could be working on my writing or reading one of the 18 books I have out from the library. I don’t have to wait for someone to be free to go to a movie with me, I can go by myself. I use to do that all the time, it’s not like you’re talking to your friend in the middle of the movie anyway, lol. Bored with all the same meals you’re making? Order a meal service or try a new recipe or enroll in a cooking class.

Being proactive about making changes in your life is almost always going to be a better plan that being reactive to things because it allows you to feel more in control of your life.

What about you? Do you like change? Or are you very resistant to it, like me? Is there something you want to change? Hopefully we’re headed in the right direction with this Covid stuff and we’ll be able to get back to more of the things we’ve been missing over the the last year or so but until then I’m going to try to embrace the change.

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