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.