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Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017

Change: Bring it on; I'm ready.

Posted Monday, January 14, 2008, at 9:56 AM

Since life brings many changes, you would think that by my age, I would be used to having things change on me. However, I still find myself cringing at the thought of change. Adaptation does not seem to be something that comes natural to me. It is quite often a painful experience.

I have examined this uncomfortable feeling that I have about change, and I have tried to figure out why, not just me, but also many other people in the world bulk at the idea of things changing.

From the time we are born, we begin to change physically, mentally and spiritually; the change that occurs in our bodies and minds does not stop until the day we die. Therefore, at first glance one would assume that adjustments to new circumstances would come easily. But one would be incorrect in most cases.

After careful examination, I have decided that maybe it is not really the process of change that I shy away from, but rather the uncertainty of what that change may bring.

For instance, a change in residence brings with it no guarantees that one will be able to get along with new neighbors. Beginning a new job can be a little unnerving because there is no way to know before hand what type of boss a person will have or if that person will enjoy working with his or her co-workers. Though these are mild examples, they clearly show that it is not really the change that worries some people; it is fear of the unknown that is the problem.

Life for me, especially lately, has brought many major changes. Since I had to allow these changes to take place, fighting them would have only made my misery greater. Therefore, I began trying to find ways to help myself adapt a little easier to them.

Since fear of the unknown is usually a major concern for me, I make it a habit to educate myself about any new situation that I must encounter. For example, I have never had to drive in big cities before. Recently, I had to drive one of my children to Kansas City for a doctor's visit. This was a very scary task for me, at first, because I had no idea where I was going, and I knew that Kansas City is a more complicated place to drive through. Thus, I began to prepare myself for the task that lay ahead of me. I researched several maps and found a route that I was comfortable taking to get us to our destination. I highlighted the route we needed to take so that I could keep track easier while I was driving. This education seemed to help a little, but I was still apprehensive.

I had to put into play the second thing that I find extremely helpful when dealing with any new situation. I had to change my thinking pattern. Instead of walking around telling myself that I would get terribly lost on the trip, I had to constantly tell myself that I could successfully find my way to the doctor's office. I had to have faith in myself.

Just as I predicted, between educating myself and having a better attitude about the situation, I was able to make the trip successfully.

I have applied these two things to other new situations in my life and have found most of the time that these tactics have helped me through the adjustment of many changes.

Since we cannot stop change from taking place or the unknown knocking at our doors, we must take a more proactive approach to life. I do believe that knowledge really does make us stronger, and having a positive attitude is half the battle.

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Stop the Merry-Go-Round
Rayma Silvers
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