One thing we can count on in life is change. Whether we like to play it safe or take risks, change finds us. Some of the change is planned and some of it is a surprise.
In order to be happy, we have to make peace with change and the possibility of change. As a teacher, Years ago, new policies, new room assignments, new students, new administrators, new co-workers, and many more variables, suddenly would change. As a first year teacher, I had become settled in my classroom. At the end of the school year, it was maybe even the last day of school, I was told the whole room had to be packed up to moved to another building. Initially, the change was overwhelming. It seemed impossible, yet there was no avoiding it. Change meant a lot of extra work in a very tight time-frame. Change meant adjusting my priorities. Change was stressful. Nothing of major consequence really happened. I am kind of glad that happened my first year, because after that I was able to not avoid having an attachment to my classrooms. I had a renter mindset. Some teachers continue to suffer when their room is changed. Last year as an art teacher, I was told my room was needed to do testing and I would have to teach on a cart. This happens to a lot of art teachers. I had Spring Art show things in process that required a room to spread out work and let it dry. I would not be able to impose that mess on classroom teachers. I had to change my lesson plans and vision for the art show. I was able to respond calmly. Was it challenging? Yes, it was. I chose to use my energy to solve the problems and make it work. To fight with the decision would have not helped the situation.
I also remember those moments that I realized dating relationships had ran their course. I used to try to make things work even when I knew at a soul level it was not meant to be. Accepting and anticipating change looked like, in this situation, imagining going to dinner alone. I would imagine showing up at parties without a date. I would imagine telling my dog about my day. She is not the best listener but she can’t leave me so she I have a captive audience. I also imagined not having someone being verbally abusive to me. I imagined not having to cringe when my date says something that offends my soul. Not all relationships add real value. Looking at the pros and cons can help in making a decision. To accept and anticipate the change that was coming made the hard decisions of break ups easier.
Some of us have faced health issues. In this case, there might be a course of action to take. Some of it might be very unpleasant. In order to get to a better place of health or at least pro-long life, we make adjustments to what our life will look like moving forward. There may be some physical things we cannot participate in. There may be added expense. We may need to feel sick from medicine we take. We may gain or lose weight. We may have to heal from surgery. Changes in our body can be traumatic and we might have to go through a grieving process to let go of the body we once had. Sometimes we need to take action, uncomfortable action, to be in better health.
When I started my business in Minnesota, I had a vision of what it would be, and it shifted so many times. Change is necessary. To keep doing things that do not work is silly. Having your own business requires some risk and experimentation. By accepting and anticipating those changes, we can reduce negative consequences, but we are never completely in control. I read all of the business books and magazines I can take in, consult with other business owners, and then I take reasonable risks. Some ventures were a success, and some lead me back to the workshop.
There are many life transitions that can throw us if we do not accept and anticipate change. Jobs end, people pass, old buildings come down and new ones go up, and we have to change as people in order to grow. I will say that again. We have to change as people in order to grow.
Amelia Earhart was an excellent pilot and navigator, but her error may have been to fail to anticipate storms and trade wind changes that increased her climb and some re-routing. The result was running out of fuel before she was able to land.
When we are faced with change, it can be stressful, and our anxious brains do not come up with the best ideas. If you are faced with a change, get yourself to best state of calm you are able to. Breath, be still, and allow yourself to accept the change ahead. Change is your friend. It is the only way we ever grow. It is part of living this crazy adventurous life. What are some of the anticipated unpleasant things that will be involved? What decisive action steps would give you the best results? Do you need to gather more information? Imagine obstacles being approached, overcome, and in the past. What could be some good things on the other side of this change?
After packing up my first classroom, my next classroom was actually better. The building I moved to was welcoming of my special education students and it was a good change for them. Break ups have caused some tears, but my life is more peaceful minus the unhealthy relationships. I have learned to thrive as a single person. I had to have major back surgery when I was young, but I have had over 30 years of living a healthy active life as a result. There are good things on the other side of change. The bad moments never last either. They change as well. Our attachment to keep things the same will always disappoint. The world does not work like that.
The challenge today is to think about what changes are on the horizon for you, and accept those changes as your friend. Begin imagining how you will best navigate through the challenges of that change. Prepare, take care of yourself, and don’t run out of gas. You are on a grand adventure. I heard that Amelia Earhart packed chicken sandwiches, hot chocolate, water, and tomato juice on her journey but she did not bring the Morris Code equipment that could have helped her communicate and might have saved her when her radio failed. The planning part of change is important and if you are willing to honestly look at it, some changes can be easier. Gather some expert information, make a great plan, work the plan, and enjoy the journey. When we fail, provided it does not end in a fatal plane crash, we can applaud that we tried, learn from our mistakes, and move on.
If you need help making a plan about an upcoming transition, that is what I do as a coach. Initial Creative Discovery Sessions are $125 and you will leave our first meeting with your next reasonable steps through your transition.
You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me to set up an appointment at 651-331-1421. I would love to partner with you as you navigate upcoming changes.
Tracy May, M. Ed, Promising Connections, LLC