Friday, November 16, 2007

Change (Part 2)

Yesterday, I wrote a post about change and quoted William Bridges, who's a transition specialist. My friend Marja wrote a comment about how she doesn't like change.

The truth is that I don't like change either. Like Marja, I've been married to the same man for almost 30 years. I have lived in the same house for 27 years and I live five blocks away from the house in which I grew up. Most of my closest friends are people with whom I went to high school (although I have made new friends over the years and recently made one of my dearest friends through this blog). I've worn the same hairstyle for more than 35 years, and I felt terrible when the guy who cut my hair for 12 years recently moved to Mexico. Most of the tradespeople with whom I deal are the same people my mother found so many years ago.

Why then did I write about change? Because like it or not, the world changes around us. A few days ago, my friend JayPeeFreely wrote asking what new "adventure" I plan to involve myself in? It's a good question because now that my mother has died, and I won't be spending time with her--which has been considerable these last few months when she was so sick--I have a lot more available time.

Also, my son will be going away to college in January--another life-changing experience. I'm quite thrilled for him and don't intend to be one of those clinging mother's who can't let go. It's his time to assert his independence and my responsibility to allow him to and help him in whatever way I can.

So...what are my plans? I'll discuss them next week. In the meantime, I'd be interested in knowing how other people deal with change and transition. Do you like it? Hate it? Do you cope well with change or do you try to pretend it's not happening? If you've got good coping skills, what are they? If you don't, do you think this presents problems in your life?

To all...have a nice weekend. See you on Monday!


marja said...

Yes, Susan, you need a new adventure. It would be so good for you.

Although I wrote that I don't like change, I do like creative adventures. Today was gray for me, couldn't think of anything that I wanted to do. Once more I felt on the brink of you-know-what. But I've been itching to get at some new art supplies I have sitting here. So now, I'm working on a picture - india ink drawn and then colored with watercolor paint. I think my gray mood is starting to lift. I will post the picture on my blog - if it's presentable, that is.

This art work is a change for me - a change from photography. This kind of change I can handle. I'm not grieving the loss of photography...too much.

New creative projects have always helped me climb out of the dumps and I highly recommend it.

Syd said...

This sounds like a simple question, but it isn't really. Change can be great, like getting a promotion or a much better job. Or it can be a bummer, like losing your job because your company downsized or the owner ran off with all the cash.

For the most part, I actually like change if it's not too sudden and I feel like I'm a part of the process. But the uncertainty of it can be scary too.

For me, the key is to try to think of change as an opportunity to create something new - opportunities, relationships, memories. And it's a great cured for boredom! :) It also doesn't hurt to be honest about the feelings of grief over whatever it is that's going away because of the change.

JayPeeFreely said...

I guess it is some irony that you referenced my comment, considering my most recent post...

It is hard for me personally to change...NOW.

Yet my education was all about change. An industrial engineer is often called the "change engineer" at the plants they work at. Labor force sees an IE (snooping) or walking around, they know something is going to change. A redesign, a modification of labor force or concept, you name it, it is coming.

People dislike change so much because they have to relearn so much (or think they do) in order to get started.

Think about going to a new restaurant: you don't know the menu, the wait staff, what the mood or crowd will be like, etc. So you will be a bit uncomfortable starting maybe exciting for some, but for others, they deplore it. Many seek common and comfortable, over fresh and unknown.

That is how I feel - almost constantly - deploring the lack of change...yet afraid to do it.

I don't have a real job - so no real identity. I haven't been in a new situation jobwise, relationship-wise or in new living arrangements in years...But I am still afraid of change...because I think whatever is out there could be worse. (Homelessness or desperate attempt to garner my basic needs...leading to some more pain I have all ready experienced once.)

I am poorly trying to reinvent myself as a writer. This is almost comical to think of, if you read anything I wrote 15-20 years ago...or today, for that matter.

I was horrible in grammar, punctuation, spelling and structure of paragraphs. Couldn't really type. And never got an A in any semester of a writing- intensive class. And I still am a mess on nearly all counts.

I have no confidence in this path, but nothing to lose in trying. Meanwhile, I probably could do what others have wanted: continue looking for some tech. job. But they are people that have never like or accepted any change.

In your case, the lack of change in certain areas of life DO NOT mean you haven't change so much else, more important, more vital to your personality than your hair, or residence.

You blog. You do research on Bi-polar. Educate yourself on all things you like to know. You are dynamic at (er, don't take this wrong) your age. My mother and aunt could learn TONS from you, but alas, they are stuck like pigs in the muddiest sty on earth.

Whatever you do - as to a new adventure - it will be more fulfilling and rewarding and interesting than any grouping of years of my life, for certain...

To that, I commend your life and what you do in it.