This week there have been some changes that I've noticed all around me. Change - in my world at least - is not something that I typically shy away from...but I don't rush out to greet it with open arms like it has been away for a year and I'm so excited to see it that I can't help myself. I'm more like that toddler that stays firmly wired around her mother's leg...immovable...but curious enough to not run and hide in her closet. I realize that change is something that has to happen for life to get better sometimes...and it is sometimes something that has to happen because that's the normal course of things.
In short, I'm not afraid of change and I don't whine and go into "sackcloth and ashes" mode...but I do tend to take more of a "deer in the headlights" approach to it until I see that it isn't an 18 wheeler...in my lane. Sometimes change is good. Sometimes change is bad. Sometimes change is just...different...not one or the other. I pretty much have a mixed bag here.
First of all, half of our living room furniture is gone...as the couch that we had been babysitting for Jill and the coffee table that was a cedar chest made by her great-grandfather for Dave's Mom (Mimi) are now residing with her. Our house has a weird echo-ey sound now and the living room looks like a forlorn little room with some things finished and other things obviously MIA. Every time I walk through there (and I do when I go to my bedroom)...it just reminds me that something is missing other than the furniture...Jill.
Which, of course, was the plan all along. So, I'm not whining. Just noting.
Secondly, there are going to be changes at work. This is one area that I normally don't mention here in cyberspace...but what I am saying is public knowledge. Who knows how it will pan out? But I do know this...whatever happens is happening because God has a plan. So, I just keep hoping for the best and waiting for signs. It is a little disconcerting, though, not to know. I suppose that sometimes it is easier to prepare oneself by degrees...so I am grateful for that. I have friends who were working in banking at savings and loans or other banks where they showed up for work one day and realized that life as they knew it was over. At least I have time to wrap my head around the upcoming change.
And then my son turned 20 this week. I know that this seems like a minor thing...but to me it is indicative of what I already kind of knew...I'm getting older. I know that it sounds lame...but having one child with a toehold in his teens made me feel like I still had teenagers (even though Jill is 22). I feel like I've aged a decade overnight. Why is this?
Possibly because I've been in denial. Not possibly. Definitely.
Change is something that happens to all of us whether we are ready for it or not. The restaurant that I am used to frequenting is currently closed for renovations. I actually knew this because a friend's child works there...but did it stop me from heading that way yesterday? We get in our little patterns - ruts, really - and we just wait for something to propel us out of our hamster-on-a-wheel existence. Change is quite handy for that.
The fact that change frightens a lot of people is easy to understand...we don't like the unexpected sometimes...and we certainly don't factor in extra time to deal with something thrust upon us...especially if it is a giant hassle. We like to see the same person we deal with every week at the dry cleaners or have the same doctor we've been seeing for nine months when we have our babies...instead of whoever is on call. We like to find the lipstick shade we have finally settled on in stock and not discontinued...and we want the Big Mac we are ordering at the drive-thru to taste like it always has.
We want the rules that we played by early in our careers to be the same for us as we last 27 years in an industry (okay, maybe just me)...and we want the world as we know it to only change if the innovations will enrich our lives...not rewire them.
I know that in my purse there is a telephone that can pull up the internet and that I can text from and a camera that shows me the photo that I took before I take it to be developed. I am writing on a computer that has a program that didn't even exist when I entered the working world. I remember seeing a fax machine work for the first time (with the awful paper) and I love my iPod...which puts my favorite music at my fingertips and in my head (without bothering everyone around me.) I own a Nook...which means that I can download whatever I want without dealing with finding it at a bookstore or in the library.
Change can be positive.
But then there is noting that half of our country is on some kind of governmental assistance, people are far less genteel and far more in-your-face than we were thirty years ago...and everyone is concerned with their "rights" instead of being more concerned with other people.
That's change that I can do without.
For me...change is something that I find a little unsettling...primarily because I am a little bit like the family Atlas. This is a role that I think that a lot of mothers assume...but it is not one that we are meant to carry. That role is God's alone. So, today I need to hand it back over and praise Him for shouldering it with no problem as all.
I know that my living room being empty is just a temporary thing and that my anxiety about having twenty-something children instead of teens is probably normal. My work situation will work itself out one way or the other...and whatever happens...I'll deal.
I want to be able to look at the empty living room as an opportunity to put what I really want in there, that I'll see my children being independent as the true blessing it is, and that the changes at work will be either an exciting opportunity to learn a new system...or something new altogether. I'm just not there yet.
If you are dealing with changes today that you feel a bit anxious about...I hope that you will find it possible to find the silver lining. That you will see that there may actually be something amazing from dealing with the things that have blown your way. If not...I hope that you'll know where you can take that burden and that you can rest in the hope that all will be well...eventually.
Change is most frequently a hassle...but there are sometimes that it is so welcome that we run toward it with open arms like a child welcoming a parent home at the end of the workday. That's what I am hoping to find today...just something that makes me less anxious and more hopeful.
I hope that you find it too.