The Sting Of Change

I hate change. I know it’s not cool to hate change, but I still do. I don’t resist change. I know it’s healthy, not to mention inevitable. But I still hate it. This morning I discovered that my daughter, Kate, also hates change. Kate has had the same babysitter, the AMAZING Paula Hardee, ever since she was a newborn and she loves her. This week Paula has jury duty…ha ha. Anyway, for the last couple days we have been taking her to a daycare run by one of our other friends and she has not coped with the transition very well. As we pulled away this morning, with the sounds of sobbing and “Moooommmmyyyy” still ringing in our ears, Erin told me that she thinks it’s worse because Kate hasn’t had to deal with much change yet. At least not in regards to a babysitter. Our son Gavin had been in 4 or 5 different childcare situations by the time he was Kate’s age. And he never seemed to have this much trouble with it. Now, some of it may be about personality differences but it also makes sense that He had simply become more accustomed to change.

I guess dealing with change is something that we all learn through experience. I’ve never read a book on how to handle change. Whatever coping mechanisms I have, whether good or bad, came to me as I walked through the ebb and flow of life itself.

Change is inevitable. It’s built into the very fabric of life. Seasons change. People change. Communities change. Circumstances change. We are all caught in a cycle of constant change. But we are generally unaware of it. Time passes so slowly that we never realize what it is stealing away from us. That is, until something unexpected smacks us in the face and we wake up enough to realize how different things are from how they once were.

When confronted with the possibility of change we generally respond one of two unhealthy ways. We move forward without looking back and push ahead so quickly that we never quite deal with the consequences or face the reality of what we have left behind. Or we attempt to avoid the change at all cost. Always trying to keep things predictable and “normal.” Pretending like life is a static reality and not the moving and dynamic web of complexity that it really is.

As different as they seem, both of these are ultimately attempts to avoid the real issue… pain.

Change always hurts. It hurts because moving forward always means you’re leaving something else behind. Some old reality has had to pass on so that this new one could take shape.

If we’re honest most of the decisions we make on any given day are attempts to avoid pain. Which is ironic because it seems that pain is the greatest catalyst for growth. Without pain than we never feel a need to grow. We never feel compelled to take risks and move forward. If I look back on times of my life were I experienced the most growth it was almost certainly in times of pain and discomfort. Times where staying the same was no longer an option.

So, while I do hate change, I absolutely love where change has brought me. Without the pain that change brings I would never be who I am today or who I am supposed to be tomorrow.

So, as much as Kate misses Paula’s house, she probably needed this.

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