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Settling In With Change February 27, 2011

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Personal Observations.
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toucan by doug88888 Ahh, Sunday morning. Blog writing time at Bor—I mean Barnes and Noble. Today marks the first day I am altering my Sunday routine. Change!!! Yuk! I am resisting by being picky about my new writing digs. First, my coffee costs about 20 cents more than it did at Borders. (Maybe that’s why Borders is in Chapter 11) Secondly, the tables are a lot smaller. And blah, blah, blah… I know full well that I am resisting change. And change is what I help other people navigate so maybe I just better get on with it.

Why do people hate change?

I got to thinking about why people hate change. Well, first of all—it’s different. Once again I excel at stating the obvious. A lot of times different is good. For example, when I am practicing drills at tango class I  often get bored and throw in some different steps. And I don’t eat the same dinners each week, nor do I wear the same clothes every day. So changing things up is a good thing for mental stimulation.

So why do I (and probably you too) resist change? For one thing routine and sameness is comforting. We know what to expect—nothing to throw us off balance by making us (God forbid) think. And change can be scary. What if I get it wrong? What if I can’t be successful at this new thing? What if I have to come face to face with the fact that I am not perfect in every way?  Oh no.

I’m sure that you have your own set of ‘what if’s’ that you go through as change visits its cantankerous self on you. So why even go to the trouble to accept change? Wouldn’t life be simpler if we could just keep everything in our comfort zone? Well, sure. But when has that ever happened? Like it or not, we have to accept change. How we do that determines the quality of our lives and relationships as well as how much fun we are to be around.

Travel is a chance to change how we view the world

I once dated a guy who found it necessary to control everything possible in his personal environment. This wasn’t too annoying until we took a trip to England to compete in dance. Then, this lovely man became THE HULK.  He had to eat different foods, accommodate the competition’s rules and schedule, interact with new people. Meals became a great annoyance and an embarrassment since he thought he should be able to eat just the way he did at home and his constant requests to the wait staff were (in my opinion) over the top. And I was really a total annoyance to him because I wanted to immerse myself in the difference of our surroundings.  Coincidentally(not), our relationship ended shortly after that trip.

Treat change  like a trip on white water

My metaphor  for change comes from my (one) experience at white water rafting. (Which I would never have done but for the insistence of my friend Rachel). When change comes at you, which it always will), simply let it come and relax and enjoy the ride as much as you can. Pretty soon, the ‘change’ will become the norm and you’ll return to some measure of comfort. And if the change is something that you judge that you never want to get used to because it’s not healthy for you—then that will suggest some new action for you too.

Try staying awake and attentive rather than activating your automatic pilot.

–Amara (on location at my local Barnes and Noble)

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