“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” ~ Maya Angelou
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” ~ Alan Watts
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” ~ Margaret Mead
The beginning of this month my car died. It was thirteen years old and served me well. At first we, the people at our car dealership and my husband and I, thought all it needed was a new hybrid battery. That would have been expensive enough. But it was discovered that it needed a new inverter as well, which put fixing the car out of range for our budget. So … what to do? We live in the country half an hour from town, so unfortunately, since my husband still works full-time, we need two cars. Most people would be panicking about the situation. For some reason I’m not. When the car was safely at the dealership, I relaxed. Hmmm. Things are changing. How exciting.
In reality things are always changing in our lives. We don’t notice or care about the small changes most of the time, but many times we get all bent out of shape, or depressed about the big ones. I’ve always wondered why? Why do we resist change so much?
Right now we’re experiencing great changes in the world and there are lots of people determined to stop it, or to go back to a time when they felt more comfortable. The thing is, you can never go back, nor can you stop change. It’s inevitable. So, the wiser, better course to take if you want your life to be happier, is to embrace change.
Maybe it’s because of my upbringing, but my family faced lots of changes and we embraced them. That doesn’t mean the changes were always smooth or easy, but they were good in the end. One of the changes we faced pretty often was moving. All-in-all I moved ten times before I went off to college. After a while I came to embrace the possibilities of the new life in a new place with new people. Though it was hard, I learned some great lessons from moving so much. The foremost of those was to assess the new situation and see where I could fit in as quickly as possible. That one skill has served me very well over the years.
Most of us dread change because we are used to where we are. We are a body at rest and we want to stay at rest. We see the motion of change as bad or disruptive. However, there are advantages to change. You get to see the world from a new perspective. Travel can do that for you, especially if you travel outside the country. But even traveling from region to region within your own country will do that for you too, if you’re open to it. Why would I want to change my perspective you might ask? Because that’s how humans are designed. We’re designed to grow, and explore, and learn new things. If we don’t we atrophy.
Our culture is so into anti-aging that there is enormous business in creams, exercises, diets and the like to keep us young and vital. But what about our attitudes and our minds? If you don’t learn new things and gain a new perspective on your life, you “gradually decline in effectiveness or vigor due to underuse or neglect.” The quote is the second definition of atrophy from the dictionary. I definitely don’t want to atrophy. I want to remain as vital and effective as I can for as long as I can.
So, change is happening at my home whether we like it or not. However instead of panicking, we’re taking our time to look at all our options and to choose the best one for us moving forward from here.
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Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2015