Change is in the air, and I’m not just saying this because we’re finally thawing out and spring has returned. Although warming up to 70 and 80 degree temperatures is the kind of change I’ve been looking forward to for weeks. I’m talking about change that’s closer to home, intimate, and unique to you. I’m talking about when change becomes the central theme for an extended period of time in your life. When it touches multiple areas at the same time and forces you to stop right where you are because you’re held captive by the knowledge that the world–your world–as you’ve known it, doesn’t exist anymore. It seems as if everything you’ve known and grown comfortable with is different. Some of the differences can be easily explained–easy to get your mind around. Then there are nuances and unknown effects that you can’t begin to grasp. Things that you can’t know until you’re further down the road, unless you’re blessed with the gift of foresight. If this has happened to you, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. If this is happening to you right now, then perhaps we can help each other find ways to cope with the changes that are currently playing center stage in our lives.
It’s funny really. I used to think that the most difficult thing is to know you need to change but not know how to actually do it or to somehow not be able to do it. This is when change is in your hands. You control whether or not it happens. However, now that I must face permanent family changes and career changes, I’m beginning to think that change that’s out of our control is far more challenging. This is when change is controlled by others or an external force or power. It’s when you can’t stop change from happening. You might not have even considered it. In fact, once you learn that it’s happening, you might not even want it. Nevertheless, the change will happen regardless of how you feel or what you think.
We’ve all heard the advice that it’s best to accept change, particularly when it’s beyond our control. In fact, this is an essential step in a healthy approach to coping with this kind of change. I understand this. I really do, but I spent most of October 2013 to February 2014 in denial and some level of fear about the changes going on within my family and at work. I was deeply bothered by not being able to do anything about the changes. I couldn’t even delay or alter the changes. All I could do was figure out how to cope, and if you’re like me, you don’t particularly care for being in situations where you feel a loss of control or powerless. It’s April now, and permanent change is still the dominating theme in my life. I believe that I’ve made some progress towards acceptance, but now I need to find the best ways to adjust to my new world. Perhaps you have suggestions or advice. I welcome your thoughts on this topic.