This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The power of change

My daughter got married this year. She and her husband moved in with me just before the wedding occurred and stayed with me for a few months after. They brought their dog with them; he didn't get along well with mine. They learned to tolerate each other. The three of them just moved out last month. My son, I just found out, is going to have a baby. I'm going to be a grandparent. My book deadline got pushed back to a different date. I'm constantly working on a different assignment with a different publication with a different editor. I just accepted a last minute offer to present a speech I didn't have, so I had to create it.

And the list goes on.

I encounter change in my life almost daily. I do not have a single boss. In fact, technically, though I am self-employed, I work for many people; therefore, I suppose you could say I have many bosses. So work is never static. There are always different contracts to read and review, different copyrights to consider, different ways to format a story. I juggle a lot of balls.

I'm not so different than most people I know.

A press representative that I work with at The Phoenician resort told me last month she had gotten married. This month, she told me she'll be leaving her job. Her husband got transferred, and she's moving with him to Colorado. She'll need to find a new job, a new house, new friends. She's ready to embrace the change, though she's slightly concerned. Her concern won't hold her back. It's just her humanity speaking. She'll miss her family and friends that she's leaving behind, especially her 13-year-old brother. She told me he's playing tennis now, and loving it, and competing. She's sorry she'll miss his games. I found that touching to hear her say this. But she's accepting the move.

My daughter--the one who just got married--told me their house may need new duct work for the air conditioning to work properly. She and her husband need to decide how they'll manage to make the repairs on their tight budget. They are working on a plan to make the important necessary repairs and save for the major and more costly one later.

Change. It's constant. We all experience it. We all live it. We all need to know how to manage it.

Some of us do it well. Some of us not so much. And some of us do it well some of the time, but not always.

Do you have a process in place that you use to manage the change in your life? Have you learned to do what my neighbor said to me recently, "Go with the flow"? Is that always the appropriate response?

I don't always accept change gracefully or openly. There are times when I reject it outright. My daughter says I need about four days to deal with really dramatic change, the kind that is so unexpected. She may be right. I do seem to have a time-frame, but I'm not sure if it can be measured in days.

Generally, I like to think I go with the flow, but I know that's not always the case. Certain kinds of change are easier to accept than others.

My process is altered, I think, according to what the change involves. Is is going to cost me a lot of money? Do I have the money it's going to cost? Is it going to cost me time--where am I going to get the extra hours I may need? How is the change going to affect me? What will I need to do to adapt?

I think I go quickly through a check-list of questions and considerations, sometimes without even knowing it, before I come to accept the change, depending on its severity.

The power of change involves lesson-building and learning. Change may hold the key to your self-confidence. You don't have to always be great at adapting to change. You just have to believe in yourself enough to know that you will.

So, if my daughter's right, and I do take around four days to adapt to big changes in my life. I'm okay with that. It means I will adapt. It means I will find the solution to acceptance. It means I will continue moving forward.

What are your thoughts about the change that occurs in your life? If chaos were to knock on your door today, would you be able to answer? Would you ignore the knock, hoping it would go away? How prepared are you to handle whatever comes next?

Not even counting this year, I've experienced a lot of change in my life. With each new experience, I've gained greater confidence in knowing I can adapt, I can create solutions, I can accept the inevitable.

Can you?


Mimi Meredith said...

Jackie, this couldn't have come at a more poignant time in my life. I am on the brink of major change, and it helps tremendously to stop and think about how I frame it. I never have been much of a worrier or a change resistor, but your post prompted me to stop and think about why that is.

One of my favorite coping skills is the 10-10-10 rule (I read this in a magazine years ago). When you're facing a major change, think about just getting through the next 10 days (sometimes I start with 10 minutes!). Picture yourself working through the 10 days ahead and knowing you'll live through it; then project 10 weeks out. Finally, consider how you'll feel 10 months from now when the change that frightens you in this moment will be but a distant memory!

My favorite coping tool is what my sisters and I call "Doing the forward motion dance." Just put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. Being vertical and gaining momentum to propel ourselves through tough times are huge and underrated blessings!

Thank you for prompting me to think on these things!! I'm starting my dance right now...

The BIKE Lady said...


Thanks for this post. I like the 10-10-10 rule. I'd never heard of it before. My process is to take things one at a time, by minute, by day, by step, whatever it is I'm dealing with at the moment...and to remember to feel whatever needs to be felt. Change can bring about strong feelings, and I know that if I stuff that or somehow try to avoid it, that's going to make the way I deal with the change more difficult. So I've learned to be comfortable with whatever change might bring, and to accept that it's part of the natural flow of life.

Thanks for your post,