If you’re like me, one thing you struggle with is change. I’m right there with you, but not in the way you might imagine. I don’t mind the inevitable ebbs and flows of life that move you from one opportunity to the next. I’m actually excited by the prospect of something new around every corner! The change I really dislike is the one that leaves you sweating out of nowhere and having people ask if you need a fan. I mean seriously, here’s yet another thing guys don’t have to endure related to getting older that are such gems for us ladies. Eesshhh… Oops, sorry- mind fart- I digress.
The changes I really hate are those that take you away from something wonderful. As a kid, I was lucky enough to have 6 really close friends that I spent every weekend with. We grew up together from the time I was 10 years old until I graduated from high school. When the day came for me to go to college, I remember feeling heartbroken knowing that some of my happiest days with special friends were over. As an adult, my husband says he can always tell when it was a “great” vacation because inevitably, I’m sitting on the plane in tears. I hate for wonderful times to end and I hate goodbyes.
Based on this, it’s somewhat ironic that I have chosen to pursue a future life as a cruiser on a sailboat. Living on a boat means we will move from place to place exploring new islands and meeting new people. I know I will fall in love over and over and will always have to say goodbye. So how do I deal with change in my life? Well, if you’ve read any of my previous posts, you may be saying “WINE” and you would be correct (who can resist a heady Cabernet?). Thankfully though, so I’m not taking part in a 12 step program, I’ve also learned a few lessons along the way that help me cope with change.
- Have an attitude of gratitude– Rather than dreading change, remember that every new journey is an opportunity to make tomorrow even better than today. Think about a change you are truly grateful for and then go back in time before you had that feeling. If you had not moved forward, you would have one less reason to smile.
- It’s just for now, it’s not forever- This is my favorite saying that helps me time and again to get through a tough time. Remember, if you wait long enough, the scenery always changes. What seemed unbearable in the moment is not always permanent. Have patience with the transition and let yourself experience each moment.
- Face your fears head on– Rather than being swept away in the rushing river of change, climb up onto the rock and wring out those fears. Start by writing out your fear as if you were talking to a close friend. Then, devise what you would do if that “thing” actually happened. Putting a plan in place for the “what if” takes the unknown out of the equation and allows you to defuse your anxiety about change.
- Use lessons from past– Think of a time when your life changed and how sad, upset, fearful (or all of the above) you were about it. Then, fast forward to today and reflect on how you got through that time and where your life is today. Often, you will realize that you are much stronger than you give yourself credit for.
- Limit the amount of self-inflicted change– Sometimes, in an effort to move forward, we set the treadmill speed too high. This means we end up face down and backwards pretty quickly. If you’re moving to a new town, it might not also be the right time to also get a puppy, learn a new language and change jobs. While some change can be great, too much at one time can start to overwhelm and be scarier than it has to be. Pace yourself.
- Become proactive- Allow yourself a specific amount of time for your pity-party and then move on. Empowered people look for opportunities to make things better. Victims sit back and worry about what will happen. Don’t allow yourself to become helpless.
- Develop a routine– When you’re feeling especially vulnerable during times of change, the best way to regain your sanity is to re-establish control of something. Develop a new routine, even if it’s as simple as waking up 30 minutes early to quietly meditate or read a few pages of your favorite book.
What’s your top tip for maneuvering through a rough change? Come over to my Facebook page (SS Magpie) and share your best thoughts and techniques. Hey, if it’s “drink wine”, I’m ok with that too, but you have to suggest a good bottle. Share the love baby, share the love! Until next time. xoxo
“Do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know the side your used to is better than the one to come?” – Rumi