I don’t have to look for changes, they have been blitzkrieging me for almost two years. Change and I are not friends, we do not like each other. Not all men hate change, but I’m scratching my head trying to think of an example who does not. That’s a generalization of sorts, but I still do not like people moving my cheese. In my case, change and I have suspiciously coexisted. Until now.

Time may change me
But you can’t trace time

– David Bowie

What is it about the word “change” that turns a kiss into a handshake?

Change comes in all shapes, sizes, and personality types. Change is shifting course, it means to stop doing one thing to do something different. Change likely pushes your boundaries and throws you off-balance. Change can be messy and often someone says to grim and bear it because it will be better in the long run. That’s like getting a big spoonful of caster oil, swallow, it’s good for what ails you.

Change has many parking brakes. Why do we fight change? Here’s why I have dragged my heels over change.

Someone is making me do something that is clearly not my idea, and not likely to my benefit. I might not care for the available options. The changed puts me out of my comfort zone, and I like certainty and routine. Change represents a loss, a power shift. Also, change is sudden and unexpected. If I am happy with my present course, why do anything different? Stay tuned.

The examples above represents when change is foisted (a word I am saving for Scrabble) upon us.

More often than not, we introduce changes ourselves. We might not think of it as change, but sometimes we initiate the change of course. Change is not always a curse, especially to make a change for something low risk. If I initiate the change rather than someone else, I am much more likely to adapt and feel better about it. I’m talking about the exact same change.

When is a good time to consider change, if change is not something we typically embrace? How about when other changes are already rippling through our lives. What’s one more change when the ground around us is already shifting? We don’t have to go through the dance of getting psyched, just jump out of the damn plane. When you are already off-balance, toss one more change on the fire. Instead of your defenses being on alert, they may actually be down and much easier to tackle.

I am the most cautious about change when it shows up unannounced, and when my degree of control over it low. That may be true for most of us who feel comfort in control. Trust is an entirely different issue. Some people skip merrily through life, taking it as it comes, while others of us plan our steps. We keep the handrail close by as we navigate the turns and changes in altitude. With no handrail, do not expect to see me jumping from a plane.

So far, I have sounded pretty negative about change. As we coast into the final weeks of 2021, I am not the same person as I was a year ago. This year has forever altered my direction, and who I am. One year ago, my life was 180 degrees from where I am now. In a sense, it transformed me.

Transformation is a fundamental change into something different. Change is a single or series of storms. Transformation is like a tsunami.

The process of change can be more foreboding than the actual change. Change is not always about fixing, it is about gaining. That’s simplistic, but we tend to over complicate life. Changing can be hard work, emotionally painful with inexact outcomes. We expect clear and instant results and that is not always possible. Change may center around dealing with something very uncomfortable and complicated – like loss, financial setback, health issues and things that take a long time to work through or resolved. Maybe they are never completely resolved, so the power of change is how we accept, learn and move on in a world of gray.

There are lots of things that can help with navigating change. Faith, family, meditation, counseling and support groups can ease the difficulty and assist with a smoother landing. I no longer ask when will the change be over, because it may just be one step in a longer journey. I would never have written this blog a year ago, it simply would not have been possible.

We can try and resist change, with varying degrees of success. Change happens to us anyway. Time sculpts us with a fine edge. The world around us changes and we are swept along in the current. Our bodies change from the inside, with or without our help. People in our lives have a significant sway over us. You can captain your journey, but the wind and sea cannot be tamed, only understood and ridden like with thrill and respect.

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