Warmest Regards: It’s hard to embrace change
I’ve always been someone who likes to make New Year’s resolutions.
I never did it as a game or as something I would quickly forget about.
Instead, I gave considerable thought to what l thought I needed to change.
Sometimes my resolution was like hundreds of other people in that I resolved to lose weight and make more time to workout at the gym.
But sometimes, after taking a long look at myself, I made a substantial resolution. One year, after recognizing how much of my time was work related, I resolved to put more balance in my life.
That was the year I discovered I worked long hours for one reason - I loved what I did. I was lucky in that when I went out on an interesting feature assignment my husband came along to do the photographs. Sure, I could take photos but it was much nicer when my husband and I could share the experience.
Some of my favorite memories originated during those experiences.
People often told me they thought it was foolish to make a New Year’s resolution because it didn’t take long to break them.
I, on the other hand, knew I gained perspective by doing a mental inventory of my life. Oftentimes it led to positive change.
Ahh, the word “change” brings up what I am working on changing this year. My challenge is accepting change.
Well, that’s not exactly right. I can accept change, even change I find most difficult.
I can accept change because there is often no other choice.
What I can’t do is EMBRACE change.
When I was younger I had no problem embracing chance. Several of the most rewarding times of my life came about because I could embrace change.
When my husband Andy passed away that was drastic change that was forced upon me. I accepted it because I had no other choice.
Plus, I knew I would limit my life if I didn’t embrace that change.
I eventually did embrace that change by looking for new activities and new challenges.
When I saw a notice in the paper about a djembe drumming class in Bethlehem I immediately signed up, even though I had absolutely no idea what djembe hand drumming was.
It turned out to be one of the smartest things I have ever done. I not only gained a new fun-filled hobby but I also gained new richly rewarding friendships.
I never had so much fun since I was a kid.
I have no doubt that change of lifestyle is what gave me the courage to embrace a much bigger change - leaving the newspaper job I loved and moving to Florida by myself.
Again, change brought so many rewards that I often said “Thank you, God,” for my new Florida lifestyle.
With all that as a background one would think I am now a pro at accepting change.
But it’s not true. The opposite has happened. With the passage of years I have come to hate change.
I know I shouldn’t use the word “hate” but I can’t think of a better word to describe my new reaction to change.
I hate small changes such as having friends move away.
I hate bigger changes even more. What comes to mind are the physical changes that come with aging.
I vowed many times never to complain about changes associated with getting older.
When my husband David would complain about not being able to bike as long as he once did l told him instead of complaining about what he can no longer do he should be thankful for what he can still do.
I kept telling my husband aging is a gift not given to everyone. For the gift of extra years it’s a small thing to accept changes.
I said it and I meant it.
I used to love playing pickleball until a bit of surgery put pickleball out of my reach.
No problem, I thought. There are still so many wonderful activities we can do.
I’ve always loved anything that involves fast movement so, of course I loved the fast-paced zumba classes.
Over the years I noticed the classes seemed to have much younger participants. I, on the other hand, was slowing down. I could still do the classes but I had to cheat a bit on some of the fast movements.
Now, my friend Jeanne and I go to a class called “chair zumba.” The energizing music is the same but we do much of the exercises sitting down.
I don’t like it as much as fast-paced classes but I’m happy to be exercising in a fun way.
I kept my positive can-do attitude until three months ago when Hurricane Ira turned my wonderful house into a pile of rubble.
While my mind vowed to stay positive and accept what came my way, my heart rebelled.
I want to scream “No.” I don’t want any more change.
I want to, but I can’t because I know it will get me nowhere.
I have to go back to accepting change.
I can do that.
I can accept change but I’m not sure I can embrace change.
That’s why embracing change is my goal for the New Year.
I’m not sure how well I will do but I’ll give it everything I have.
Contact Pattie Mihalik at firstname.lastname@example.org.