How do we regard change in our lives? Do we view change as a good thing, simply a revision of the timeworn replaced by a positive update perhaps? Or do we see change as a painstaking event, an alteration of the ordinary? Do we know the timing of change or does it arrive as a complete surprise? Is change perpetual or as random as snow in Camden? There is change that skulks in at the most unexpected moments like an uninvited guest. And then there’s the type of change we invite in and embrace with open arms. Some change is favorable while some change is as difficult as the fear and doubt it brings. Moving out of our comfort zone is trying at the very least though it’s part of our nature of what it is to be human. Moreover, we want the positive results that accompany change but aren’t always willing to experience the unpleasantries that come with the transformation. Our actions remain the same as we look for dissimilar outcomes. Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Over the last several years, it would seem as if I had won the lottery, though the big prize money arrived in the form of change, and just so you know, I don’t mean coin change. Most of the change I speak of is the kind where certainty ends and where boundaries are redefined; the type of change we can’t do anything about. It’s the change where the only choice we have is that of acceptance. Stepping outside of what we consider to be a safe border doesn’t always have to be a negative. I remind myself of this everyday. Change can help us go beyond what we always believed to be our outer limits. It challenges us in a way that uncovers our utmost capabilities. My mother’s Alzheimer’s reared its ugly head several years ago as an inconsiderate, tough change in all of our lives. It’s a change we must accept and strive to find some joy in it every day. We must realize the person living with Alzheimer’s is not the same person and never will be. We must see our mother as a new person now, and that in itself is a tiring change. We must discard old expectations as we relate to her in another way. And as we strive to move forward in this change, we have to remember, for her from this point on, change is intolerable.
Another recent change can be described in just a few words, “transition of the college freshman.” Transition is defined as “a movement or development from one form or stage to another” hence big change for all parties involved! Our oldest going off to college has been a bittersweet change. Any parent can attest the void a child leaving for college creates is difficult but the outcomes can be rewarding for both parent and child.
Life is chockfull of natural and spontaneous change. It can be as simple as reworking poor organization or redoing your approach to physical fitness. Or it can be as intense as remaking a friendship, revamping a career, or reviewing bad habits. The fact remains the same -- change is inevitable whether we want it or not. It’s part of life and life doesn’t look back. While some change can look negative on the surface, we have to believe something more positive will emerge.