One of my favourite people is moving on and another is hitting a major milestone – you could say they’re both on the cusp of change which I’m resisting…
Seems like the start of summer has always been full of change: the end of the school year, the start of a new summer job, a trip somewhere exotic and of course, the promise of a summer fling! These changes were always easy to accept, but as we age, it seems we move farther and farther away from these “fun” changes and approach different kinds of change – riskier change: do I risk a steady paycheck and quit my job to pursue my dream? Do I leave the man that’ll make a perfect husband and son-in-law and follow my heart? Do I pick up and move across the world to chase my destiny?
Another birthday comes, another candle is added onto the cake. Why is change so hard to accept? Is it the fear of the unknown? Does the law of physics have anything to do with it? (You know, an object in motion, stays in motion, and an object at rest stays at rest. However in this case, the status quo or the “known” is akin to the “rest.”) Is it sheer laziness?
Whatever their reasons, most people tend to resist change – and some with utter and abject vehemence. Like the other day, when I was rushing to get the kids to school – ok, truth is that with just several days to go to the end of school (at time of writing), I was late…waaaaay behind and I couldn’t be as I’d been chosen to be a parent chaperone on the 5 year old’s field trip! The bus would surely leave without us and then I’d have to find a way to make it up to him like having to bribe him with (again!!!) this gift or that and I’m seriously turning into the worst – parent – ever!!!
Anyway, we raced out the door, toaster waffles hanging out of our mouths, into the car, en route to school…only the intersection was blocked! So irritating! Didn’t we all learn in driver training that you are NOT supposed to block intersections?!!! While a couple of cars made way, one remained steadfastly put, despite having ample room to move. Suppressing my inner, road-rage-prone monster, I lowered my window and asked kindly, “Pardon me, sir? Would you mind moving a little forward and letting me through, please?” He snapped, “I’ve gone as far as I can! I can’t move any further!” Fortunately, he got dirty looks from all those around and moved up all the same, letting us through.
Why was he so opposed? Why are we all so resistant when faced with the impetus for change? Is it because we’ve just become comfortable with the status quo…even if that status quo became the status quo only a moment ago? Confused? Think of it this way. Imagine having to get across a stream. To do so, you have to jump from one rock to the next until you make it across. Each rock represents change from one to the next. When you’re preparing to jump you are most uncomfortable – most fearful of change – and as soon as you land, you are at once relieved and comfortable again. Change can be risky…you could land in the water and most situations in life aren’t so bad that you would actually fall in the water and drown. Most of us draw on ourselves to figure things out – to swim to the next rock, if you will.
So now, my one friend is reaching a major milestone and while I’m happy that she’ll now be in the same decade as me, she is also the last of our “Fantastic Four” to reach it. In a way, we have now all moved on to adulthood. If I think about it enough though, I no longer have to feel like she could still claim to be in her thirties when I couldn’t so that’s not such a bad thing, right? Pfft. But that’s really not what’s bothering me at all. I pretended like hitting that milestone was no big deal…but now that I’m in the decade – and becoming ever more entrenched – I’m not only facing change but fearing it!
My other friend is doing what I only dare to…in my dreams. She is moving her family halfway around the world to realize a goal that she set for herself – to rediscover and make a go of it in our homeland. To some, this seems crazy – I admit it did to me at first too – leaving the creature comforts of home, the routines, the stability and security for something completely different, new, and unknown. For me, all I can think of is the loss I’d feel of leaving behind my friends, my family, MY LIFE!!!
I do not like them, Sam I am. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them here or there, I do not like them anywhere.
Like the stodgy, unhappy character in the famous Dr. Seuss children’s book who does not want to try something new like green eggs and ham, I admit it, I fear the unknown…I fear change. In particular, I fear the kind of change that is thrust upon me like, “You’d be perfect for this new job – c’mon you’d be a fool to turn it down!” (despite the fact that you weren’t looking and are enjoying being master of your own domain…) or “I know you like roller coasters…who cares if this one is higher than any you’ve ridden before, you’ve just gotta try it!” (despite the fact that while you love adventure, perhaps you prefer the kind with both feet on the ground…waaaaaaay on the ground.)
But just like the Dr. Seuss character…you’ve got to try it, because you just might find that you like green eggs and ham! Interestingly enough, one of the key traits that all happy people exhibit, aside from living in the present and trusting that everything happens for a reason, is that they all embrace change. So join me, let’s embrace change this summer!
Life’s too short to make up all sorts of rules for ourselves that keep us from realizing its full potential. Take a look around. What change have you been resisting? Why are you resisting it? What is the chance that you’ll slip and not land on that next rock? Will it be the end of the world as you know it? I mean, really? Then DO IT! If I can ride the Behemoth roller coaster at a peak height of 230 feet (despite my hypochondriac woes about dislodging some blood clot, popping a spinal disc, or having an instant heart attack), who knows, then perhaps being fully immersed in this decade isn’t so bad…and my other friend? Well, she’s just a plane ride and an email away…