Stop the Change, I want to get off!

For a guy whose not big on change, I feel like Gregor Samsa, the Salesman in Franz Kafka’s novella Die Verwandlung (Metamorphosis) who wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into a giant insect!

Am I crazy or can you feel my pain:

  • Just went through 3 graduations: one from university and two from high school.
  • Only daughter getting married in July.
  • Only daughter moving to St. Louis (700 miles) to be with future husband.
  • Twin boys moving off to university mid-August. Becoming an empty nester!
  • Mother-in-law planning to move from Europe to Charlotte.
  • Probably in need of at least one hip replacement.
  • Two tears in left rotator cuff and one in left elbow (I got crazy using the chain saw!)

I know I’m not the only one who has a lot going on right now, so I don’t want to complain. In fact, I’m really in a positive mood and seeing the good that comes from change.  But, I still have to figure out how best to manage all that’s happening.  Let me share with you a few things that are helping me through the journey:

Right Mindset:  Whether I like it or not, change is coming. Resisting change or complaining about it, won’t help the situation. So I’ve taken on a positive mindset and am embracing all of the new things coming my way. In fact, if I’m honest about it, most of the change is good, for me and for others.  I begin each day writing in a journal three things I am thankful for. This helps me start the day with a thankful mindset.

Ready for Change:  Life has seasons and new chapters. I’ve poured into my kids for the past 18 to 22 years and now it is time for them to spread their wings, take on responsibility, make mistakes and create successes.  Sure, I’ll always be there to lend a helping hand or give wise counsel if they need it, but I’m looking forward to seeing them take on adulthood and create their own lives.

Some of the day-to-day responsibilities of raising a family will cease to exist and my wife and I can spend more time doing the things we want to without planning the day around our kids’ schedules.

Share the Journey:  It’s good to include family and friends in your journey. I’ve got a good support group – especially guys – who know what’s going on in my life right now and are there to support me when I need it.  Most of the time the best support they can give is just to listen. I’m not looking for sympathy or answers, just someone who cares about me.  But it all starts with your willingness to share your story, your issues, and your fear with others. Most people have difficulties doing that because they feel like they are imposing. Just remember that its not a one-way-street; you’ve also got to be available for people who might need you.

Daily Exercise:  I exercise every day, even if the left hip is crying: “No mas!” I find that daily exercise reduces my stress and charges my battery. While change is change, my exercise routine can be a constant, something that I do every day. I also walk my dog every day. Between 2:30 and 3:00 pm he comes and scratches on my leg. As I work from home, he knows that I don’t have any excuses.

Eat Healthy:  Another constant that helps me manage all of the change that’s happening is healthy eating.  I’m into cooking at home and enjoying nightly meals with the family. I stay away from fast food and moderate my drinking (only wine).

Recently I was tested for food allergies and I learned that I have intolerance to wheat. Wow, that really threw a monkey wrench into the menu. No more French baguette, no more Italian pasta!

Good Sleep:   Change can be very stressful and there is nothing worse than dealing with stress when you are tired. I’ve gotten in the routine of getting to bed early so that I can get the 7-8 hours of sleep I need to function well.   Every now and then I’ll take a 10-minute power nap when I start to feel groggy.

Celebrate the Change:  A few weeks ago I took my boys on a nice vacation to celebrate their high school graduation. We had a lot of time at the pool and beach to talk about the next steps of their journey. It was wonderful.

In March my daughter and I went out West skiing. She always wanted to hit the slopes with her dad and it was a great way to celebrate all of the things she had accomplished at college.  Needless to say, while riding the chairlifts up, we had plenty of time to talk about what changes are coming her way: new job, new city, and of course, a new guy who will soon be her husband.

Someone once said there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes.  I’ll add the change is the third certainty. If you aren’t in it right now, it is right around the corner. There is no use fighting it. Prepare for it, embrace it and make the most of the ride!