Thursday, January 18, 2007

The blanket's in the dryer

It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between that we fear . . . . It's like being between trapezes. It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to.
~ Marilyn Ferguson
I remarked in a recent post that things have been a bit rotten lately. I have so many things on my mind and on my shoulders right now - sitters leaving, strained friendships, health issues, power struggles, all sorts of crappy things I have no control over that add up. Every day I've been waiting for another shoe to fall and wondering what new unpleasant surprise I'm going to get.

I was talking it over with my dad last night, who listened and remarked sagely, "Sounds like you're in for a lot of changes." Which sounds painfully obvious, but it made everything so clear to me. Instead of taking things I had no control over as a personal insult, I could see them for what they are - changes. Changes are neutral. Changes are something that are certain to happen. I was lamenting the lack of change in my house before the holidays and said that something big was coming, but I didn't know what. (I thought if nothing else, I was going to cut off most of my hair and dye the rest My Little Pony blue, but see? Now I'm distracted from it by all this other stuff.)

Seeing all of this as simply "changes" allows me to take the focus off myself, as in "why are these things happening to us?" and lets me breathe more. I'm trying instead to focus on my reaction to those changes. Do I meet them whining? Do I grumble to myself, or ask for help? Do I try to be SuperWoman and take on everything so that I shield the rest of my family? Do I allow myself enough outlets to blow off steam - talking with friends, doing yoga, giving myself permission to go to bed early, journaling out my feelings so that they're not all bottled up? Do I remember to give thanks for Paul and the kids often enough?

What are your best ways to deal with change?

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