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When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”  Benjamin Franklin

Change–an inevitable part of life. But we resist it, don’t we? Have you ever wondered why? There are many reasons, but one is that we become comfortable in our current situation. We know what to expect, and what not to. We feel better able to conquer known demons, than the unknown. So we stay in our snug ruts, afraid to venture out into something different. But sometimes change is thrust upon us, and we have no choice. That’s when we want to grit our teeth, dig in our heels, and refuse to budge. Excitement, advancement, and fulfillment are waiting around the next bend, but we have to be willing to go around the curve, instead of camping on the highway. To go forward, we have to shake things up a bit. While a predictable routine may be comforting, it can also be stifling. If we feel that life is boring, we’ll lose our creative edge. Accepting change can be the difference between really living or simply existing.

Still, change isn’t easy. I found another great quote that really resonated with me:

“It’s not the change we fear. It’s the place in between the trapezes. It’s like Linus when his blanket is in the washing machine.” William Bridges

I absolutely love, love, love that quote, don’t you? That’s exactly what it’s like when we’re going through change. It’s like when you let go of one trapeze, but you haven’t grabbed hold of the next one. And yes, it’s like Linus–having to let go of his beloved blanket (his security) and not knowing what to do without it. Change-that place of uncertainty where we’re caught in the middle. Letting go of the old and reaching for the new. We’re free falling without a parachute. We’re way out of our comfort zone, but something propels us forward.

For me, midlife has been a time of tremendous change. I lost my biological dad and my step-dad (since I was 7) very close in time to each other. I have had to change my entire lifestyle to accommodate the care of my elderly, not well, widowed mom. Just as I was being released from the responsibilities of being a full time mom (my daughter moved out), I was thrust into being a fairly full time caregiver. While my mom does still live independently, she requires a lot of supervision and no longer drives. This means that my days are filled with doctors’ appointments (a different doctor for each body part), pharmacy trips, and all the things that make up daily life for a middle aged baby boomer with a family, and an elderly woman. This was a change that was thrust upon me unexpectedly, and one that has taken awhile to adjust to.  However, we have bonded in ways that never would have happened outside of this change in our lives. Even though I sometimes resist the reality of my life at the moment, I hope that I have become a more caring, compassionate, and less selfish person through this turn of events.

So, while change sometimes brings negative circumstances, there is always something good to be gained as well. I think that the older I get, the more I realize that life is comprised of changes. As Benjamin Franklin stated, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Only death can stop change. It will be with us until we leave this world, and possibly after. (Surely you didn’t think we’d spend all of our time on clouds playing harps, did you?) 🙂 God probably has lots of things for us to do, along with worshipping Him.

Life is always evolving, and if we are going to survive, we must evolve with it, always adapting to what lies ahead–learning from the past, but not living there. Just remember that whatever you are going through, it is not likely to continue forever (at the intensity of this present moment.) This too shall pass, and you will gain strength from it, and be able to go forward. There are so many devastating losses in life, but there are also so many delightful surprises if we just don’t give up. So look to the future, live in this moment, and adapt to the changes that come your way. It’s all a part of this thing called life…

Please see other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

 

 

 

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