October is winding down. I can’t believe we are in the last week of this month. It seems as if the older I get the faster time seems to go. Wasn’t it January yesterday? This year is flying by and what a year it’s been. Ten months of crazy if you ask me.
For me, it has been a rough couple of years. It all started with my mama’s cancer diagnosis in February of last year and then watching her lose that battle in November. It seems so surreal that it will be a year in November since I last saw her, spoke to her, laughed with her, touched her, hugged her. My heart aches for her every day. I lost my dad to dementia in 2011. Watching the man I knew forget who I was devastated me. He was dependant on others to remind him how to do the things he had done all of his life. Every day normal things became a challenge for him. I miss him every day and try to remember him as the strong, funny man who loved me. Losing a parent is not something you “get over”. I imagine this ache will be with me for the rest of my life Death changed my life.
Then, covid hit and life changed again. Suddenly, we are staying at home, the world is closed, and life as we knew it disappeared. People are working from home and kids are learning at home. When things started opening up, life was still not as we knew it. We’re wearing masks and staying 6 feet from people. There are disagreements about whether it’s real or not. Conspiracy theories run amuck and meanwhile most of us are trying to figure out how to survive the madness. Covid changed my life.
Children grow up so quickly. In a years time, I will be an empty nester. My youngest is a senior in high school this year. Watching him become a man is a strange phenomenon. He does things that make me catch my breath. He makes choices that make me proud. He curses and it shocks me every time and then I laugh at how strange it sounds coming from the mouth of my baby. My oldest son is engaged and getting married next year. Watching him be a fiancé and love his girl to the best of his ability is amazing. Hearing him talk of his work and their life together reminds me of just how much he has grown and changed. My boys are becoming men. Children becoming adults changed my life.
I was married and now, at the time of this post, I have been single for 4 days. Meeting someone and then finding out they aren’t who you thought they were changes you. The specifics of that aren’t important, some people aren’t meant to be together and were together for the wrong reasons to begin with. Working so hard to make it work and realizing there isn’t anything that is going to make it better is rough. What was meant to last, doesn’t. What was meant to fulfill you empties you and you realize the best thing to do is move on. We are moving on in a way most people cannot understand. We have agreed to remain civil and friends. It is difficult for people when we tell them we don’t want them to choose sides. I refuse to be unkind. Divorce changed my life.
We work to live. Ironic. We should be living while we work. I was in a position for 14 years and started a new job in July. It was a job that I was not unfamiliar with, I’ve been in retail before. Yet, it was and still is a huge adjustment for me. I have spent the majority of my life in education. Odd jobs here and there but mostly in education to some degree or another. Jumping back into retail means I am giving up many things I enjoyed about being in education. Interacting with the kids and hoping to make a difference. No more summer holidays. No more Christmas, Spring, Thanksgiving holidays off. Instead, I will be there, in my store, helping others find what they need for their days off and holiday get togethers. I’ve realized I am still an educator. My passion for teaching will not be wasted. I have the ability to continue teaching others, it simply changed venues. Instead of a classroom, I now teach in a store. Changing jobs changed my life.
I have had the same best friend for 15+ years. Sometimes we talk, other times we go years without being able to speak to one another. It sounds strange to have a best friend who you can go weeks, months, years without speaking to and yet, they remain your best friend. Doesn’t matter whether we talk or not, we are still best friends. Circumstances often get in the way, life happens, and time passes, and yet, we are best friends. I can’t imagine them not being my best friend. There’s a peace in knowing regardless of what is happening in each of our lives we can and will reconnect and it will be as if no time has past at all. We will pick up right where we left off the last time we spoke. A best friend changed my life.
I could go on but imagine you are starting to understand. Life is about change and those changes, change us. There’s a saying that I think about often, “the only thing we can count on, is change” and it reminds me there is one constant in this life. CHANGE.
We can embrace change or we can fight it every step of the way kicking and screaming about how unfair life is. Change isn’t bad. Uncomfortable sometimes, yes, but not bad. Change allows us to grow. It shows us new things about who we are, who we want to be, and who we are meant to be. Change allows us to accept or dismiss things in our lives.
I found an article about how to get better at change and the first piece of advice really struck a chord with me. Maybe because I am an optimist or maybe because I find laughter to be the best medicine, either way, the list of suggestions was this:
- Find the humor in the situation. …
- Talk about problems more than feelings. …
- Don’t stress out about stressing out. …
- Focus on your values instead of your fears. …
- Accept the past, but fight for the future. …
- Don’t expect stability.
Please, don’t misunderstand me, not every situation is funny or humorous, but even in those things we can always find something to laugh about. Whether it’s a funny story as we remember a loved one who has passed. Perhaps it’s watching our children do or say something crazy as adults we never imagined they would. Maybe it’s about looking at that divorce differently. Could be hearing your friends voice again or realizing the madness isn’t permanent. In all things there is something about finding the humour that diffuses the stress of change.
No matter what you may be facing, no matter what change life is throwing your way, remember, you always have the power to choose your response. You are always in control of your reaction. This too shall pass. Life’s about changing nothing ever stays the same (okay, I totally stole that from Patty Loveless) but it is absolutely true!
Change comes. Growth happens.
Until Next Time,