You don’t reach midlife without having encountered change.
LOTS of change!
Puberty, changing schools, moving homes, starting and ending relationships, becoming part of a couple, becoming single, becoming a parent, becoming an orphan, changing careers…. the list is endless and I haven’t even made mention of technology! Seriously – one needs to keep a ten year old on speed dial these days in order to help them operate their TV.
Like it or hate it, change is a part of life and while we may not want or expect it – you can guarantee that it will occur. We can choose to rail against it, or choose to get on with it – making the best of whatever situation we find ourselves in.
Like anyone who has hit the fabulous rollercoaster of midlife – I’ve experienced many huge changes in my life. Some were truly life defining – like meeting a young Australian-Italian on a blind date in 1987, who proposed 3 months later and with whom I celebrate our 30th anniversary at the end of this year. Others proved a real challenge – such as dealing with assorted health issues – my own and my family’s – and facing a season of burnout and clinical depression.
I write about some of my own experiences in my little book “GIRL! Get over yourself and get in the Game!” in the hope that some of my journey will inspire hope for other girls, and the following is a short excerpt from that:
Change can be exciting, but change can also be uncomfortable and downright scary. I’ve made a couple of major location changes in my life, including moving from Perth to Sydney when I was 17, (same country but totally different cultures, especially in the early 1980s), then my husband and I immigrated to New Zealand with our two young children when I was 34. I was so excited at the adventure of both moves, but the reality of the packing and saying goodbye to family and friends was almost overwhelming at times.
Then there was the adaption to the change once the excitement of the honeymoon stage wore off. The mundane tasks of having to find where the grocery store was, organising new doctors and dentists, finding my way around different health systems and school systems etc etc. Dealing with change on a near daily basis for that first 6 months or so was emotionally draining that I battled with depression for quite some time.
Fear of change is one of the main reasons why people settle for lives
that are less than what they could have had.
Change brings discomfort. It stretches you, it challenges you. You have to face your deepest fears as change doesn’t always guarantee success and that’s the real kicker.
Are you prepared to let go of what is comfortable in your life, of what is “okay” in order to step out and change your situation, so you can reach instead for what your heart knows that you should be doing to take your place in the game?
Even if there is no guarantee of success?
I ask myself that question still today.
When I am facing the discomfort of stretching so that I can learn more and BE more in order to serve more people – I find that old resistance that is rooted in fear tries to grip my heart. It’s so much easier to hide in my safe work environment surrounded by people I know, instead of pouring my heart out here and on social media – baring my soul to judgement and opinions which I know logically shouldn’t affect me, but to be honest – they still do.
However, I have dreams, goals and a purpose that I still feel driven to fulfil, and to do so, I need to learn to embrace change so that I can grow into the person I need to become.
I have no check lists or “how to” instructions on how one actually does this though. Instead, I simply want you to ponder this question: Do you embrace change, resent change or choose to adapt to change?
Whatever you choose, it’s YOUR choice and I would LOVE to hear your thoughts!