Adapting to Change


Let’s stop avoiding change!

A recent conversation with a friend made me think of how important adaptation to change really is. Sure, Darwin said it. But seriously, how often do we actually apply it in our lives?

If you really think about what has stayed constant in your life from day one, hasn’t it always been change? To sum it up…our size, setting, classes, schools, friends, goals, family dynamics (hey MA my size changed remember?), relationships, etc. etc. etc.

There’s always something new and different trying to wiggle its way into your neatly arranged life. Between work and play you’ll find a detour called “finances.” On the way to a goal you’ll stop at the crossroads: “Never Yours to Begin With” and “Oops.” Stop signs where there use to be lights. On-ramps when you had every intention to continue a straight path. You decide to take streets instead of the freeway. And, perhaps realize you have to make a few stops along the way. Plans end up in disarray, how do you react…do you stay stationary preventing new ways of thinking and dealing? Or, do you decide to go for it…and willingly allow change and change yourself for the better in the process?

People don’t like change. We like a soft place to land that stays in the same place with the same soft consistency. Now, if this is making you uncomfortable it might be because you’re thinking, “My family’s the same, my friends from when I was a kid are the same, and well…I’m relatively small and haven’t grown since 7th grade.” If you have the same family dynamic from your younger years, there might be a bit of an issue. Here’s a flashlight to guide you through the rest of this post: Your family and friends have gone through life. Unless they are made of some sort of post apocalyptic material, they’ve grown, learned, and/or changed, and so have you.

We grow up and realize friendships don’t mean what they did when we were kids. Friends sometimes don’t adapt well to changes in each other’s lives and well…best friendships turn into ships that are left to wade in the waters alone. You will lose people close to you for various reasons, some fatal, some tragic, some unnecessarily. Things. Always. Change. We sort of tip toe around the dotted line that separates “used to” and “different” until we finally settle in a new…place, decision..etc..etc…

There could be a point in life where your health deteriorates and there really isn’t anything you can do about it. How will you react? Let’s just say, you find out you may not live to 82 years old like you had planned because life has implanted a stop sign where there otherwise was an open road. This is one change that changes everything, no? What do you do…?

Sometimes you do away with old mentalities and find yourself stuck in the in that pesky middle ground paved to last only a few paces before it gives. You can only do a few rounds of “I was wrong” and “What’s right?” before you need to stand for something again.

These are all uncomfortable and, often, sincerely sad. If the only true constant in life is change then it is safe to deduce that we need to react better to it.