One of the reasons I moved back to Wisconsin was the seasons. In southern California, I could appreciate the buds appearing in the spring, but I missed the bright fall colors in autumn and the snow in winter. If you were in one of the many states hit with the recent storm, you might be thinking I’m especially odd right now! Yet even with the blizzard we got locally, I appreciated the snow. As I walked around the next day, I was amazed by the textures and shapes created by the snow and wind. It was beautiful.
The evening when it all started my husband and I were sitting there listening to the wind howl and gust. We talked about being a little anxious about whether some damage might happen, yet we both knew there was nothing we could do at that moment, the storm was here and we just had to wait it out. As it turned out, there was no damage. We did have snow in places that went over his 6-foot head as well as a buried garage door.
Change is inevitable. One of the reasons that I adore the changing seasons is that it’s a constant reminder that things change. We might wish it and even try to minimize those changes. The truth is that there are transitions that we’ve adapted to already. If you’re a parent, as your child grows, there are more changes in a year than you’re counting. When you pause to think about it, you’re amazed by how big they’ve gotten – and not just their size. “Nothing is permanent except change” Heraclitus
Attempting to control change is useless. Change is about moving from a known place –where you are right now – to a place that is relatively unknown. If clearing the clutter is the change you want to make, you might have ideas of what that will look like, but the reality is likely to differ from your imaginings. The truth is that as you begin, your vision can change and better ideas will emerge, like the buds in spring.
Life happens in the meantime. You’ve created great plans, you know just how you’re going to handle your time and stuff. Then life happens. Someone else interferes with your schedule – those unforeseen things happen. It’s here that I personally struggle the most – not from other people changing things, but rather from expecting too much of myself! Except this is what life does, and finding a way to go with the flow minimizes our stress.
Embrace opportunity for change. It’s too easy to be hard on ourselves. We’re hyper-aware of how we’ve failed and ignore the opportunity to improve things. I’m always on the lookout for things that aren’t working the best. I’m even eager to find ways to simplify and improve the way we do things. It’s easy to put on the blinders and ignore things. It takes time and energy to figure out what needs to change and most importantly, in what ways it needs to change. Frequently only parts of the system aren’t working, so scrapping the whole system isn’t the answer. Yet, if we can be eager to change, we’re open to how to improve.
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.” Alexander Graham Bell
Change = Growth. Maybe not immediately, but eventually! Each time we make changes, we learn things – sometimes only what NOT to do, but nevertheless, we’re learning. Often it’s painful and the changes can be the opposite of what we want. Yet, it’s still movement. As frightening as change can be, stagnancy is terrifying. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want is to be stuck anywhere.
Before long, the snow will melt away and those buds will arrive. Change is all around us, whether we look for it or not. It happens whether we want it or we don’t. It is inevitable. Nevertheless, it can be something for the better and the more we can embrace what life brings our way, the happier we can be.
“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.” Goethe