Managing Change (& even embracing it)
Learning to embrace difficult times and let the unexpected delight me
2019 is nearly over. It’s been a year of big transitions that brought major changes for me. At times, it felt overwhelming, sad, difficult. Yet, in whole, this was one of the best years for me. And once I brought this new awareness to the surface, it gives me a newfound comfort for managing change. I am moving into the new year with earnest hope and energy, now eager, excited, even motivated to embrace the unknown.
Since I’m a person that prefers a stable, predictable and dependable environment, this is a big step. I’ve learned a lot this year about letting go—though it has not been easy, nor perfect. And to be clear, it’s still a work in process!
Moving to Pennsylvania from our well-established community in New Hampshire came unexpectedly, but my husband and I were ready for the adventure together. It was not hard for me to move TO a new place; however, it was very sad for me to leave behind so many people, places, and activities that I loved. Those months of saying good-bye were so bittersweet, but what I hadn’t expected was the depth of new opportunities that have been opened for me.
Finding new community in the midst of a disaster
On our first day in the new house, Oliver, our 10-year-old, orange kitty, decided to take a stroll, went too far and got lost. That set off three panic-stricken days of worry and angst before we got the call that a woman who lived one mile away had found him.
Our search through our new neighborhood generated many introductions and I couldn’t imagined feeling more welcomed or supported by everyone who enthusiastically joined in our search, despite not even knowing us. It’s the kind of thing I don’t want to go through again (thankfully both our cats have since cooperated and remained on our property!) But it was also the kind of experience that teaches you about managing change and leaves you aware that the best things can happen even in the midst of a most difficult time.
Grace’s legacy sustains me
Losing Grace was not unexpected, but it was dreadful. I didn’t realize that time would actually make the grief intensify. But I wouldn’t trade all the years we had together just to avoid this sadness that floods over me in waves. The best way for me to get through the sorrow is to embrace her memory and carry on the things we loved: most especially the long walks in the woods and a reminder for me to treat everyone for who they are as opposed to who I think they should be. When I picture her, I smile bright as she lives on for me in new ways.
Change happens for us all — in all aspects of our lives
Whether in our workplaces or personal lives, change happens. It’s how we go about managing change that matters.
It’s important to reflect, to take stock of what we did well, as well as what went wrong or what is left undone. On all accounts, we can learn and grow towards new levels of effectiveness and satisfaction. This year gave me (more than) ample opportunities to do that, and I’m surprisingly glad to have had all the challenges I faced. Because now I possess new tools to help me get through future hurdles. They will come. And I’m ready.
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