It is said that the only things in life that are constant, a given, for sure are death, taxes and change. Change is all around us; at the moment we get to bask in the glory of prismatic color all around as one season merges into another [forgive my West Coast life – our fall colors arrive much later than the rest of the world]. Our skin changes with the season, our eyesight changes with age; wine and cheese change for the better with time. Our pant sizes change by the month for some of us; styles change yearly; and if done right, life is a series of one change after another.
When my son was an infant, and learning to scooch, the kind of scooching that was more akin to a military move: elbows grabbing traction and full belly to the floor. The only difference being a floppy head that frequently came precariously close to smacking the floor. I worried that the hardwood floors in my house would prove problematic for both he and I; his forehead, my backside. I ordered an area rug to soften the blow and create some padding, for both of us. There was a snafu with the order and it took nearly a month for the rug to arrive in the warehouse, and then I had to arrange to pick it up with an infant. When I finally got to the store, I looked at the rug and realized that I didn’t like it; in fact, I hated it. But as luck would have it, there were no returns on custom orders so I had no choice and I brought it home, rolled it out, and appreciated it simply for it’s function, despite what it lacked in form.
No sooner had I plopped the kiddo down on the carpet, with that contented sigh of solving a dilemma, did I realize that the week prior he had fully mastered scooching and was now in full-crawling mode. He had no intention of staying within the bounds of the rug’s edge, he had serious exploring to do. The area rug was obsolete before I even rolled it out; my son had changed. He had grown, outgrown the rug and was ready to move on. Just as he should. I, however, was stuck with the ugliest rug for a few years until enough wear and tear was underfoot to justify a change in my home decor.
“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.”
Change, if done well, and for the right reasons, does not scare me. The tasks necessary to usher in whatever is new, or just different, are always laced with some element of adventure along with the knowledge that the change is part of the larger picture and the knowing that this turn will pave the way for, and lead to more change at some unexpected point in time. I like seeing what’s next around the corner, figuring things out as I go.
Change, if done poorly and for the wrong reasons just annoys me; knowing that the unnecessary work required to accommodate the transition will be tiresome, drama will ensue, and will likely only serve to fix a temporary issue, that is possibly (probably) not even the real issue to begin with.
Change is on my immediate horizon; change that I have called forth, beckoned. Change that I need. I feel a bit like my infant son, pushing past the bounds of the rug’s edge. It is change for the right reasons, and will unquestionably bring work, surely some drama and it will be up to me to do it well, and with grace if possible, to ensure a positive outcome that simply lays a new foundation for what is to come. Not to mention, the changes that I am certain will appear, at the presently uncertain, but certainly inevitable unforeseen corners of my life.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
– Buckminster Fuller
I realize that not everyone likes change, embraces it’s adventure or seeks it out. It’s not always pretty, definitely not always easy, and rocks the boat. What is your relationship to change? Do love it? Or avoid it at all costs, even when the option of remaining the same seems equally impossible?
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
– Charles Darwin