Manage change by moving forward a little at a time

On our walk a few days ago, I kept noticing how many grey hairs were creeping into Grace's muzzle. When I look at her now, I don't see the youthful face that I once did. Some types of change are easier to accept than others, but we can't stop it from happening.

Do you embrace change? Or resist it?

Perhaps the answer depends on the circumstances of the change. But no matter what your reaction, it’s important to know that change will happen.

It’s bittersweet for me to think of Grace aging. I always loved her beautiful, deep reddish color that now seems lighter, transitioning to more and more grey over her face. Her running sprints seem shorter and not quite as fast, even though she’s still quick enough to outpace many dogs, no matter what their size. I admit to having a twinge of sadness when I can no longer think of her as young (she’s not old yet, either!), but I realize that it’s just one of many natural changes of life that happens to all of us.

Change happens all the time, all around us. Priorities in our work, people who we work with, companies we work for, products we sell, the tools we use to communicate, are all constantly in flux. If we don’t stay current with those changes, we get left behind. So we need to find ways to adjust and manage the change as opposed to trying to stop it. It will happen whether we stand still or not. Will we move with it? Or will we get left behind?

Sometimes we initiate the change and other times we have no control over it. In either case, it brings uncertainty, and that can be stressful. It can also be equally exciting. And yes, sometimes both!

That’s what I feel with my new website.

It’s been fun to watch the design evolve and come to life; an endless stream of fresh energy. It hasn’t been easy, though. There were a ton of details that had to be planned and executed. I was fortunate to have the skills of many talented people to pull the ideas into reality. My goal was to have a website to better reflect who I am and what I do, and serve as a forum and resource for ongoing learning. You can let me know if I hit the mark. I always welcome your ideas and suggestions.

The project required a lot of time to understand what I needed to do, what I wanted to accomplish, what I could do myself, and what I needed help with. There were many unknowns to me and even though it was something I really wanted, it would have been a lot easier to put it on the back burner and say I didn’t have time or that what I had was good enough.

There have been days when I’ve looked at other sites and felt like I was so behind, that I had so much catching up to do. I had endless questions. How would the information be organized? What pictures should I include? Do I really need a Facebook page? How would my current blog be impacted from a technology perspective? There were moments when it seemed overwhelming.

I tried not to get mired in what I didn’t know or didn’t have, but stay focused on what was possible and move forward to do what I could. When faced with resisting change or embracing it, it’s helpful to think about what you can do as opposed to what you can’t.

Grace can still run circles around most anyone, despite those grey hairs I see. For all of us, it’s a good lesson to remember that time won’t stop and wait for us to catch up. It’s best to keep moving forward than not moving at all.

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9 comments

  1. Robin,

    I LOVE your new site! The logo is fabulous and the switch from following you on WordPress.com to WordPress.org was so easy. This is a great post about change. Yesterday, we went for a hike with the dogs. It has been a while since we’ve done this, and the change in Webster’s stamina was noticeable – he had such a hard time keeping up with us. I have been watching the grey cover his face for years, but now I am seeing even clearer signs of aging. I can be sad about it or I can make the best of the time I have left with him. So, we’ll walk a little slower on our next hike and take a few breaks along the way – maybe this slower speed is good for all of us right now. I will definitely consult with you if I ever make the switch from WP.com to WP.org – the new site is beautiful and you and your team did a great job with it!

    -Laurie

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Laurie! So good to have you here with your feedback. I am really happy with the graphics and very glad to know that the switch was seamless for you. Aging can be a difficult change (my own grey hairs are getting quite noticeable, too, ha!), but I love your approach — make the best of it and realize that what we think is bad might in fact be good. It’s all the way we look at it, isn’t it? Thanks again for your comments, as always, greatly appreciated. I’m a bit behind but I want to check out those shots from the Detroit Dog Show you went to!

  2. Lynn Otis says:

    Awesome job Sis!
    I know you have been working long and hard on your new site, just like those NASCAR teams, and you have made the winners circle!
    Your blog on Change really hit a home run (like the Atlanta Braves are gonna do) with me at this time in my life. Gives me a boost to get with the program.
    Spencer and Tinsley are slowing down a bit also, especially hauling it up the steep hills in Abingdon. I bet as soon as my younger pups get here from Richmond, they will strive a bit harder to keep up, just like your oldest sister is trying to do!
    Congrats on this great accomplishment. Your site is like you, insightful,straight forward, sincere and fun.
    Love,
    Lynn
    PS — GO RAMS AND BLUE DEVILS!!!
    Better luck next year Hokies

    • Robin says:

      Really cool to see you here, Lynn! Thanks for coming, offering your thoughts and as always, you make me feel good while making me laugh at the same time. Love that about you. You’ve always been a great role model for me (well, almost always, ha), but I doubt I could ever handle five dogs at once like you do!

  3. Sara says:

    wow, so many changes over here. I realy like it. I notice you matched your font color to Graces coat. Its nice on the eyes. How old is Grace?

    “If we don’t stay current with changes, we get left behind.” That is just SO true, and relevant for all areas of life indeed. Its an easy trap to get caught, in especialy if the change is unwelcome or unliked. Refusal to accept change, creates stubborn people who turn into dinosaurs, then become extinct.

    By embracing it, a person automaticaly brings their own brand of ‘goodness’ into the equation and thats not a bad thing at all.

    • Robin says:

      Great observation on the colors, I’m glad you like it! Bringing your own brand of ‘goodness’ is a cool way to look at how to deal with change. Turns it into a fun experience as opposed to a painful one!

  4. LeeAnn says:

    Robin – I love the new website!! And I enjoyed everyone’s comments here. The font color really is easy on the eyes and I love it even more knowing it is meant to represent Grace’s color. This post was incredibly timely for me. I am contemplating a somewhat big change in my life – and trying to sort through the fear and excitement. I also am dealing with my sweet Gracie aging dramatically. We are almost to her 11th birthday. Sometimes it seems so unfair to me that she is growing old so much more quickly than I am. I need to embrace Laurie’s philosophy!!

    • Robin says:

      I hope you post on the big change you are contemplating! Sounds exciting. Thanks for your feedback on the website — and no matter how much we know that change is natural, I think it’s still hard to think about our aging friends.

  5. Lionel Lloyd says:

    Congrats on the new site Robin. I too get apprehensive about our Sia getting older, but I quickly push those feelings aside and concentrate on the now. There’s still so much living to do and besides, I am just as happy with her laying by my side while watching tv, or if she is laying on the floor of my office while I work.

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