Surviving change requires learning that we can’t control what happens. We should focus our efforts and work to preserve what is most precious. Although there are no guarantees that we can preserve everything that’s dear to us, we should learn to appreciate and hold on to what’s precious.
Everything changes. Even back in 500BC, Heraclitus knew that the only constant [was] change. The only thing that doesn’t change is that everything changes.
Yet, we still occasionally take for granted things that seem to remain constant for a long time. Then it’s really inconvenient, if not painful when it does change.
Surviving Change When Change is Constant
“No one ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and they’re not the same person.”
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Bob Dylan knew about surviving change.
Ch Ch Ch Changes
The company my wife used to work for changed some policies that resulted in a $600 decrease in her monthly pay. That was HUGE to us at the time. My wife’s former employer—who was mucho awesome, btw, and we are still very good friends with them—let my wife take our little girl to work, so we could save money on daycare.
One day, our little girl turned two. We had to put her in daycare, which was a really big, new expense for us.
A few years later, she became a high school freshman. We can’t make them stay young and small forever. As precious as our kids are to us, they constantly change. We need to help that change and not try to preserve them.
The Principal we all loved at my kids’ school, that everyone loved, retired. I guess we just sorta thought she would always be the Principal, but she wasn’t.
Every 4 to 8 years, leaders change. Many people responded poorly to that change in 2016. As outraged as they were–whether justified or not–didn’t change the fact. The outrage and fear only made the change worse.
Instead of focusing on supporting candidates they liked, they dwelled in fear, hate, and negativity for the next few years. Whether they were right or wrong didn’t matter. What matters is that they increased their suffering by resisting (and resenting) the change.
When the next person takes office, there will no doubt be many who react poorly to that change.
I had plans for after our kids moved out. My wife and I planned to move to the Mediterranean where I would continue working my current job remotely. Then a new group of execs decided they want employees in the office.
I loved seeing my friends in the office daily. Most are good with my attempts at making everything fun, and most help me make work fun. I just wanted to roam more.
Then my friends got laid off.
I had other friends, and I’ve made new ones. There’s just no getting comfortable.
Then I got laid off, and they had to survive a place without me there making work fun.
My Friend’s Danielle’s About Me page Changed
CH CH CH Changes… https://t.co/Bipx9CHDNW
— Danielle Bernock (@DBernock) March 6, 2017
Decide What’s Precious
Not all change is noticeable, and some things can be preserved. We have to decide what is most precious to us. Pick those few things, just four of five things that we really love and appreciate. Then really work at preserving those things.
My wife and I discussed this. The few things we selected are:
- Our relationship
- Our relationship with our kids
- Our nutrition
My wife and I made our relationship the number one thing to preserve. We’ve seen lots of relationships change, many for the not better. Our relationship has changed in our eleven years, mostly for the better. The point is that in a universe of constant change, we spend a great deal of effort monitoring and nurturing our relationship.
Our Relationship With our Kids
We’ve seen lots of these go sour, but we monitor our relationships with our kids very closely and work hard to preserve them.
Food has changed significantly over the past couple of decades. That is not your father’s Wonder bread. Actually, Wonder bread maybe your father’s Wonder bread. We try to avoid processed grains, so I can’t tell you for sure about Wonder bread. I do know that they sponsored my favorite race car driver. Shake and bake!
What is precious to you?
Can we hold on to anything in a constantly changing world?
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5 thoughts on “Surviving Change: Holding on to What’s Precious”
Here comes The Law of Impermanence to bite us in the rear. I too have a difficult time adjusting to change. The pain only worsens with the fight and denial. But change is necessary for growth. Indeed no growth is possible without letting go in order to grab hold. At the end of the day we have to learn the embrace change or suffer the trapping of past thoughts.
Thanks, Michael. I can’t believe I wrote all that without mentioning impermanence!
btw, Since you mentioned growth, you might enjoy my friend Danielle’s blog post. http://www.daniellebernock.com/6-ways-change-growth-differ-which-do-you-need/
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