Thursday, May 7, 2015

Adjusting to Change

Have you ever felt as if you didn't really feel the same anymore?  Like your life was changing and you panic a little?  Change is good; it is healthy.  But it still can be unsettling and a little scary, depending on the nature of the change.

Here are some changes that can shake things up a bit:

 Death of a loved one:  Each person deals with death differently; some people heal right away while others mourn for years.  It depends on how close you were to the deceased, your personality, and other factors.  Whether the death is sudden or at the end of a long illness, it can be difficult to process.  Experiencing an array of emotions, sorting your loved ones' belonging, handling all the phone calls, visits, and funeral details--it can all be exhausting.   

Aging of a parent:  You may like to think that your parents will always be healthy and active, but disease, injury, and the natural process of aging can bring about changes that may shock you.  These changes can happen suddenly as a result of an injury due to a fall, or over time as is the case with Alzheimer's disease.  Suddenly Mom is using a wheelchair to get around, or Dad no longer has much interest in his beloved garden.  And sometimes, depending on the circumstances, the parent comes to live with you.  Despite the fact (and oftentimes because of it) that you care deeply for your parent, caring for him/her 24-7 takes its toll.  It can hit you hard.

A new baby:  The thought of a new baby brings on the warm fuzzies, but it also can spark fear, confusion, and lots of sleepless nights.  Is he eating enough?  Why won't he stop crying?  Am I holding her properly?  What if I drop her?   Your head is spinning with both joy and terror.  If you have other children, you might not be as nervous, but a new baby requires attention.  That requires more time and energy that you need to muster up from somewhere, somehow.  

A new job:  This can be an exciting venture.  You may find yourself more tired out than usual from the stress of learning a new job, dealing with a different route to work, having to leave the house and return home at different times,  dealing with office politics, and the like.  Or you could be energized by this new change. Regardless, it requires an adjustment.   

Health issues:  Maybe you have a long-term illness or new medical condition that takes a copious amount of your time and energy to manage--doctor visits, surgeries, therapy sessions, medication, medication side effects, second opinions, third opinions.  As you get older, more health complications may set in and you just don't know how to cope.  

Remodeling:  Sure, you love the thought of a "new" house, or a "new" kitchen, but, oh boy, when the sawing and hammering start, you begin to wonder if it wasn't such a great idea after all.  Delays, unexpected additional costs, and rude contractors add to the frustration.  By the time the project is done, you're spent, in more ways than one.

Socializing:  You may have a full plate, but you still want to spend time with friends, family, and community service activities.  You squeeze BBQs, birthday parties, card games, and volunteering into an already crammed schedule.  You may start to feel guilty because you forego the latest party to stay home and relax or take the kids camping.  With a society that's continuously moving at warp speed, it's easy to get burned out.  

There's no need to be frightened of change.  It is a natural progression.  Look inside yourself to make sure it is what you want.  If it's different than the norm, that's okay.  As long as it's authentic, natural, gives pleasure, and/or a certain satisfying challenge, go with it.  It's for the best and life will calm down in time.

Instead of mourning the loss of the way life used to be, embrace change and find excitement in the things that are in the works.  Enjoy the adventure.  Learn from it; revel in it.  Cherish the memories of where you came from and what you learned, and welcome the chance to grow.  It's not as if everything you know has to change, but that it's altered is okay.  Let your life changes flow naturally.  Tackle the waves, bumps, and road blocks with determination, humor, and a positive attitude.  

Have you gone through a life change recently?  How did you handle it?  Email me at, or comment below.  Thanks!
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