Our world is constantly changing and so am I. Even so, I don't always like change even when it winds up to be a very good thing. Whether change happens in a day, like wham, or over many years, it's still scary.
I rarely see change coming or if I do, I hide under the covers of what I know to be normal. I act as if everything, and especially that thing I fear, is business as usual. When my first baby was born, I kept telling myself for nine months that this was easy, nothing would really change and I'd just pop that baby out and go right back to work. Right? Wrong.
Like the monster under the bed, change is a giant, scary unknown.
All our life we change: babyhood to childhood to teenager to adulthood to parenthood and beyond. Some changes seem easier than others, or are they? Maybe I've just decided to remember it that way.
When I look back on most changes, whether I wanted the change or not, it seems like a natural progression. Moving through grades in school looks easy to me now but at the time, I'm sure it wasn't. Getting my first job in radio had a few bumps looking back, but I know it was terrifying then. Breaking my wrist was a change nobody wants, but again, looking back I see how it made me more aware and focused and, yes, stronger.
At this time of my life, when everyone all around me is talking about aging and wrinkles and aching bones, I cringe. I want to run and hide from the fact that I am older. It's scary to even consider the possibility of my time running out.
But the fact is, death and birth are givens on this planet at this time. Sometimes death happens near birth and sometimes, with any luck, death happens many decades later. The fact is, I don't know and you don't know when it will happen. That's the real monster under everyone's bed, all the time.
I could refuse to see change, ah, denial is a wonderful tool. I could cling to my soft, comfy beliefs or bitch away in fear. But what if I see change as a chance to grow stronger. I can take what I've learned from the changes I've already gone through and use it to live better, smarter, stronger, kinder and, yes, happier.
Breaking free to wonder.
When I took art classes in college, it was just an elective, I didn't allow myself to see it as something I really wanted to do. After my first child was born, I bought myself a sketch pad and pencils just to 'doodle'. My first studio was a drafting table in the corner of my bedroom with watercolors and now I have a studio all my own, a pottery wheel and kiln. Sometimes, change happens so slowly over time, I don't see all the creating I've done in my life.
I've seen and done and liked and disliked many things in my life so far. I've worked for good even in groups of people who were bad. I've soldiered on in spite of the greed, hate and dishonesty around me, doing a good job, hoping I could change the situations and people around me. I've struggled to accept there are things I can't change.
But what if I allow my knowledge of the world around me to change my choices? What if I change my views on change? What if I choose to change? What if I make choices based on love and fun and wonder and freedom?
I wonder, at embracing living a longer life as a chance to create more life in my own life.
I wonder what kinds of change I'd create.