Change is Hard, Even If It’s Positive

by Heligirl on September 9, 2011

in Beyond Mommyhood,Daily Ramblings

I realized something rather disturbing this past couple of weeks.

I don’t do well with change anymore. Change is hard. Even when my changes don’t hold a candle to what others or the world faces.

Worse, I don’t like what this new issue means to me.

I’ve had a difficult time admitting this. I’ve alluded to it several times, but never quite came out and said it.

When I was young and resilient, I embraced change, celebrated the coming of a new adventure, looked forward to job changes, reveled in the opportunity to design a new routine, and pondered the immense new positive experiences coming.

I moved a lot as a kid and young adult and took on a number of different jobs as the journalism then the helicopter industry moved me around. Each new opportunity was a chance to take on a new adventure, follow a new dream and create new possibilities.

So what does it say of me when change now makes me depressed, nervous, completely uncomfortable and altogether miserable, not to mention feeling terrible selfish?

I think for me it means I’m getting old and set in my ways.

I hate that.

But change remains the only constant and it leaves me with two choices: embrace my new mindset, or push through and find the adventure in the new again.

So what has me all atwitter this time?

I took on a new part-time job this month to supplement my PR business. It’s 20 hours a week (which I do in three shorter days) and includes PR, social media, publicity, writing, working with media and all the things I rock at doing. I work with some incredible people for an institution that is doing some great things for the community.

So, when you read that you’re thinking, what’s the deal then?

Here’s the deal:

The job is 25 miles away (40 minutes there in the AM, 1 hour back in the afternoon as opposed to the 20 minute commute that spoiled me for seven years). My current childcare place doesn’t have openings for the days the kids would need to attend and I had to back out of the coop preschool I so enjoyed because of the days I need to work. I enrolled the kids in the childcare center/preschool at my new job (a great place and situation, but still change). My doctor I’ve had for seven years, who was there for me for my pregnancies, isn’t covered by the new insurance so I have to start all over again with a new doctor (I so LOVED my old doctor).

That’s a lot of personal, emotional change in a short period of time. We’ve had to create a whole new routine at home to get the kids ready and out the door with me at 6:45 am. The kids have a whole new stressful situation getting used to a new place where they’re now separated due to their age difference (hardest on my little man, so it stresses me out too).

I turn 40 next week. That’s when they start mammograms. And I have to do it with a whole new doctor. I’m hoping I find someone great.

Then there’s the stupid little thing about my office. I used to have this great office with a window that looked out over the Cascade Mountains and a lake before I was laid off in January. Now I have a tiny cubicle in a room where the only window looks into the hall. That’s taking some getting used to. But it’s only three days a week, and I’m really being stupid.

And that, my friends, is what my brain does with change these days. I guess the difference is I was so very excited about the changes in my past, moving, new job, exciting adventures, etc. This time, I didn’t want the adventure of leaving my last job when it happened, I miss my old coworkers something fierce, and this new job doesn’t have me on fire like aviation always did.

So it seems I’m being taught a lesson in how to push through those uncomfortable feelings of change and see the positive potential. There really are some great people at my new employer. The kids are in great hands, right across the parking lot if I ever need to see them, and I’m a big fish in a small pond. There are some great marketing and PR things I can do there.

And I feel tremendously guilty for even having these feelings. There are people out there that are losing homes, hardly have enough to eat, lost family in tragedies and a host of other really awful things. How dare I feel this down about getting a job? My self flagellation only helps make me feel worse. (In fact, I almost didn’t post this for fear of looking so freaking selfish, but this fear of change and difficulty in getting comfortable with it is very real to me.)

Change is hard. But getting through it, and modeling doing just that with a can-do attitude for my kids, will only make us all stronger.

Have you had a change in your life that you felt ashamed of being down about given how insignificant it feels compared to others around you or events in the world?


Erin September 9, 2011 at 11:43 am

Currently I’m really down about my diagnosis of gestational diabetes. Even if I wasn’t able to control my blood sugar (which so far I’ve done without too much disruption to my eating), this is only a temporary inconvenience. It is rare that issues continue after the birth, although can happen. So why am I SO angry and frustrated? This is nothing compared to other problems that either I or my daughter could have, and yet it seriously upsets me. And sometimes I’m ashamed that I can’t push past the feelings.
Erin recently posted: Gestational Diabetes

Twitter: Heligirl
September 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Oh Erin, I feel for you. You’re right, it is really rare that it continues after birth, but that doesn’t make it any better. There’s nothing wrong with feeling angry and frustrated. You have every right to feel let down. It sounds like you have a healthy understanding of it in the greater scheme of things. Please don’t feel guilty for feeling ashamed for having these feelings (take my advice, I won’t). We both have every right to wallow in our misery, at least just a little bit. 🙂

Liz @M2M September 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I moved around a LOT as a kid. Well, you’ve met my mom, she’s probably told you about some of the places we lived. I attended 6 schools before even turning 8. Needless to say, I hate change. I like to have stability and know what’s going to happen. Most of the time, embracing change feels like a cat being pet backwards.

That being said, I sometimes can head it off with some quick thinking. In your situation: don’t have a window in your box? Make one! Pick up an old window frame from a garage sale or similar and dress it up with some flowers (real or fake), and a painted or photographed scene. Insta window! 🙂
Liz @M2M recently posted: Cloth diapering

Twitter: Heligirl
September 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I love the picture idea. I just might try that out. I like the creative widow frame idea.
Heligirl recently posted: I Have an Excuse, or Five

Twitter: NatashaJ
September 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm

You may feel “guilty for even having these feelings” but they are your feelings and your reality and just because someone else has it harder (someone somewhere ALWAYS has it harder) doesn’t make your angst over it any less real and you are certainly not alone.

I think the difference between the “Yay change!” of younger days and the “$**t! Change” of our more mature years is that we didn’t have anyone else to worry about then. But now you have a sense of all the ripple effects that change will cause not only for you, but for your kids, husband, caregivers, anyone that is part of your daily tribe in navigating this wonderful life. And that means adjustments and tradeoffs that will of course all get worked out somehow, but the getting from here to there is a pain.

So I think your woes are perfectly legit because you actually care how those around you will be affected. If you didn’t, change wouldn’t matter and your attitude would be “Sucks for me, and now for you too. Tough. Grow a pair. Yeah, I know you’re five. That’s old enough to grow a pair.” And that would just be bad and totally not Heligirl. 🙂

For what it’s worth, my fix for a cubicle I worked in once was taking an awesome, sunny day, high-res picture of the view I wished I had from someone else’s office window and ordering an oversized 2’x3′ print online. I hung it in my cube and had an insta-window, sorta like Liz @M2M suggested. It made me smile every grey winter day.

Also, yikes! on that commute but yay! on the nearby daycare! Hope everyone settles in soon.

Twitter: Heligirl
September 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Thank you so much Natasha. I was just thinking of you the other day and here you are. I so appreciate the time you took to share your insight with me here. Thank you again so much. Sometimes its hard, getting all wrapped up in your own stuff, wondering what the heck is wrong with your thinking, and it just takes a kind-hearted pal who gets it to reach out and share. Thanks again, for sharing that you understand and for the validation. 🙂

I love the photo idea. Actually, when you told me about this, I remembered suddenly that someone in my building at my old job came by my office one morning when there was a particularly amazing sunrise taking place and took a photo out my window. That photo was blown up to 2′ x 3′ and hung in her cube. Quite a fortuitous reminder, I must say. 🙂
Heligirl recently posted: I Have an Excuse, or Five

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