Sunday, January 12, 2014

Peepless in Seattle

“But I don’t want to move away from my friends!”

Me neither.  It’s my standard response now, as everyone in my household navigates the news that rocked our world, again.  After 16 years of waking up to sunshine, we’re moving to Seattle.  

Yes – I’m picturing the rain, just like you.  But also – the GREEN!  I remember green!! And Starbucks.  LOTS of Starbucks in my future.  Guiltless, because enduring all that rain deserves a few pleasures, don't you think?  

But the list of people - and things I’m going to miss about Phoenix is long.   Waaah!! 

So we're dusting ourselves off and shopping for umbrellas with (mostly) smiles because after all, cliché as it sounds, there is nothing more inevitable than change.  I don’t know anyone my age (a very young-at-heart 45) who hasn’t coped with life-altering change – the loss of a home, job or parent; or a re-location, a health scare, or a divorce.  

Life’s moving at breakneck speed, and the pace of change seems to be accelerating.  Better hang on and enjoy the ride.  

It's not all bad.  As my husband (who will still be recovering from cancer surgery and radiation when we move) changes to a new job, my kids to new schools, and me to a new market from which to write, we’re gonna have to band together.  It’s scary – adapting to a new life.  We’ll have to depend on each other.   In the end though, I believe my babies will become stronger, more resilient and more independent.  At least, that's what I'm telling myself!!

As for me and hubby, well, a move is bound to draw us closer.  Right?

So, my advice to myself, and to anyone else coping with change, is this:

Don’t just Survive Change – THRIVE!
It’s not easy to adapt to something new, but the process helps you grow, like the rain on Seattle’s gardens.

1.  Accept that change is inevitable, and it never happens at the right time.  Walking through life knowing that anything is possible - that your life could change in ways both big and small without notice, helps us roll with the punches. 

2.   Practice Small Changes Proactively.  Life altering changes might not seem like such a big deal when you make small changes on your own.  Take new routes to the office; add a new recipe to your round; ask for a new project at work, strike up a new friendship out of your comfort zone.  Challenge your brain to respond positively to small changes so larger ones seem less intimidating!

Stay tuned for reports on how things are going.  I'm off to buy a raincoat ... and some stationary! Enough about me - how do you cope with change?

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” 
― Laozi

This piece originally appeared in East Valley magazine.

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