I've heard it said that two things in life are certain: Taxes and death. But I might add a third thing to that rather short list: Change. In my 50+ years on this earth, one thing I have certainly learned: Change is not only probable, it is most definitely inevitable. There is change happening every single day across this planet, good and bad. There are changes in the weather, changes in the economy, changes in the political arena, and these changes have the potential to affect everyone on earth and can be felt by everyone from the greatest to the least. Then there are personal changes we all face. Physical changes; time-of-life changes; financial and economic changes; changes such as marriage, divorce, births and deaths. With every change, there comes a time of reckoning -- of dealing with the change so to speak to determine what a change might mean for you, how it will affect your lifestyle, and how you will integrate change into the life you're accustomed to. Sometimes we feel let down by change because it's something that we have no control over; we've done all we know to do to keep the "sameness," but change still comes and we have to take time to wrap our head around it. Then there are changes that are a direct result of our own efforts to produce change. Those changes are usually welcomed, but even they come with their own set of challenges. For example, have you ever worked hard for something and then, when you got it, it changed how you felt about everything, challenging you in unexpected ways? Changes, whether welcomed or not, are a part of life, and if I could write a book guaranteeing that change will never catch you by surprise and deflate you, set you back or change you as a person unless you desired it to do so, I could be become a wealthy woman.
Change does not come easy for me. I say that very lightly, however, because I am somewhat of a Jekyl/Hyde, glass half-empty/half-full mentality when it comes to change. A lot of the time I am split directly down the middle when I am faced with change. Half of me does everything within my power to keep change from happening. I get comfortable with what is and don't wish to be challenged by what might be. What I know now is comfortable, and what I don't know about this impending change is, well, uncomfortable. How will this change affect my life? Will it make my life better or worse? Will the changing of my circumstances change the "me" I am inside? The other half of me thirsts for change. What kind of changes can I pursue that will make my life better and richer? What is waiting around the corner for me, if I but make this change? There is a side to me that wants to embrace change with everything I have, for at least change means that you're not growing stagnant. It means you're going somewhere and not just standing still at least. But then, just as sure as that side of me recedes, the fear of change once again takes over and I begin to question. Will I be okay with change, will I be able to adjust with the changes I must make, will I have the comfort I am now experiencing as I rest in what I know... I wish I could be one who wholeheartedly embraces change. I think life would take on a whole new depth of excitement if I could face every change and tackle it head-on with optimism. But, alas, it is a battle that rages within me and I am not sure it will ever be won.
When my Hollie was pregnant with little Preston, I gave her the best piece of advice I had. It went something like this: When you think you have your schedule down pat and new motherhood under control, things will change. The growth and change a baby experiences in its first year are phenomenal. They are huge and it behooves any new mother to accept this fact from the get-go: Each stage of baby-rearing is short-lived. Just when you think she's happy playing on the floor with her toys, she becomes frustrated because she wants to crawl to something across the room; just when you think she is finally content crawling, she gets mad because she wants to pull up and walk on two feet like a big girl! Many other changes can occur quickly in the form of a fever or symptoms of sickness and those changes can throw your whole world into immediate chaos. Nothing else on earth matters but seeing baby happy and healthy again. Change is not only a given with a new baby, it's swift, challenging, and not for the faint of heart.
A little later in life, we are faced with the changes that come along with dealing with adolescents and teenagers. That's a whole new set of changes that come with a whole new set of challenges. Then at that exact same time of life, many are faced with aging parents who are sick or need care. Before we know it, our roles are convoluted and we are not sure exactly where we fit in at this stage of life. We are no longer protected as a child, but we're the parent, the grandparent, and perhaps a caregiver as well. Sometimes we have to accept the fact that we play parts in all of the above. And, believe me, changing roles on a frequent basis can make you a little crazy. Sometimes this time of life leads to the "I just wanna get out of here" syndrome. Take me anywhere but here! I cannot face all the changes coming my way like fiery arrows because they are going to kill me! Heeeeelp!
This is when I find the time to care for me and only me. Besides, if I lose myself, what good am I to anyone else? To keep one's sanity and a healthy state of mind, we must take care of numero uno. When we take care of ourselves and allow ourselves to have what we need so that we can be all we need to be for others, we thrive. We must make sure -- no, demand -- that we have all we need to be equipped to juggle the changes in life. As women, we are always caring for others. We tend to let ourselves go, because our own self is the one we know can be put on the back burner for awhile. And, trust me, I know from personal experience that this is a formula for a catastrophic happening, and that's a change no one wants to experience! I call these times of caring for myself "renewal." When I am in renewal, there are those who might think me lazy. There are those who might think me selfish. There are those who might even think me a little loony-tune. But that's okay. Change is not an easy thing, at least not for me. So if renewal is what fuels me for change, then so be it.
What do you need to find renewal? Is it a day to yourself, complete with a little retail therapy, spa therapy, and the latest chick flick with your very own bag of buttered popcorn? Is it complete solitude in the house, without husband, children, or commitments of any kind? Is it a hike or run alone on your favorite trail? It might even be a few days at the beach or a cabin in the woods. I stand completely and remarkably unashamed for my times of renewal. Renewal is the resource needed for strength to face life's challenges -- one of which is sure to come, and its name is Change.
*Editors note: Is it easy for you to surmise that I am going through changes right now? Leave me a comment below and let me know how you deal with change in your life...
Posted by CC
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