One of my very first bosses had a favourite saying, “Change is here to stay.”
We were working for a high-tech company in the days when ‘high-tech’ was a fledgling new idea and rapid change was the order of the day.
His saying helped frame so much of what we were doing and what was happening in the world of business. And while today a laptop computer and smartphone are ubiquitous, in those days, selling the idea of everyone having a personal computing device on their desk , which actually meant that even ‘the boss’ had to know how to type, was radical.
Change is here to stay.
And still, I balk against change. I resist. I push back.
I am human.
In the presence of change, a departure from the past is signalled. What if I like the past, even if it was uncomfortable? What if to change I need to let go? What if I fear, I’m just not capable of letting go without falling?
Yesterday, someone I respect and admire asked the question: What is your personal growth plan?
Life is a growth opportunity. We are constantly changing, growing, learning. Do I plan for my growth? Do I map out my learning strategies, identifying my strengths and gaps by leaning into what creates the more I want to experience? Or, do I simply sit back and let it happen, allowing opportunity for my strengths to weaken and my gaps to widen?
One thing in my life that has never changed is: I have a choice.
To do nothing. Or to be 100% engaged in creating the life of my dreams. Of being a whole partner in my future unfolding.
Recently, as I have navigated being in a new home, a busy work/life that at times feels out of balance, an injury that has impeded my ease of motion, and a new role, ‘Yiaya’ to my daughter’s son which also includes being the mother of a daughter who is now a mother herself, I have felt the tug of resistance. I have felt the desire to push back and fall into the ennui of “I’m getting too old for all this change,” thinking.
I’ve definitely made myself smile, and sometimes shake my head in consternation, at my desire to not live my life fully and instead, just let it happen.
Life does just happen, whether I’m actively engaged or not.
The difference between just letting it happen, and living consciously within its every happening, is my attitude. My desire to step wholeheartedly into each moment and continuously be open to learning, growing and challenging my own sense and need for status quo.
I like things that don’t change.
I like driving to work the same way every day. Buying my latte on my way to the office. Driving home the same route. Walking Beaumont the Sheepadoodle along the same path.
Yet, to condition myself for change, to keep my change muscles flexible, sometimes the best thing to do is shake up the small habitual things I do.
I don’t know what the next moment will bring. I can predict. I can plan. But I can’t be 100% sure.
What I can be 100% sure of is that if I stay tied to my habitual ways, my change muscles will harden. If they harden enough, they will ripple out and atrophy my capacity to grow and learn and evolve. If they get to that state, I risk depriving myself of living life wholeheartedly.
To change with grace, we all need a sense of safety and an inspiring vision.
I have a vision for my life. I’m just a little sketchy on the details!
Fact is: I’m safe in my world. Safe in my home. My workplace. My community. My relationships. My life.
With my sense of safety securely grounded in the things that matter most to me, I’m safe to create change.
To get more focused, to become more intentional in activating my vision, I choose to do things differently.
So for today, I shall do one thing I’ve always done differently.
Today, I shall take a different route to work.
And in the process, I’ll remind myself what my boss taught me long ago. Change is here to stay.
And that’s okay.
PS. I can already feel the anxiety of not turning off where I habitually turn off and going to the next exit. Even though I’ve only been driving this route a few months, I am attached to it.
As the song goes, Shake it Up! Shake it Up!