Posted by: Little Miss | October 3, 2007

Change, change, change

Years ago I worked with a wonderful young woman and I think of her often these days. She and I made a great team, although we lived in different cities about 300 miles apart. Through technology and the way our personalities and styles complimented each other, we ended up producing as much work as would typically take four or five people. We were high-energy women, type A, over-achievers, obsessive-compulsive – add your own adjective here. We learned so much from each other. It was a fabulous team and I loved every minute of working with her.

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However, along came new management and they sought to divide and conquer. There were a couple women – one in particular – who set about to destroy the great team we had created. They did all the usual corporate politicking to make life miserable for us. It’s a waste of my energy to try to psychoanalyze why they did what they did, but they succeeded. First they “eliminated” her position and one of the ladies who resented us later assumed my friend’s role, and then slowly they pushed me out as well.  

In spite of that, she and I both survived and went on to continue our successes elsewhere. She ended up being a successful business entrepreneur with her sisters, and I went on to bigger and better – and better paying – corporate jobs.

One lesson I learned through this, and other similar experiences, is that change is good. Change may be scary, difficult, uncertain, or sudden, but in the long run, when you get through it, you see how perfect that change was for you.

Once again I am faced with change, only this time, it’s not my job. My health is demanding that I make some lifestyle changes. My challenge is learning how to slow down without completely stopping. I am still that type-A, high energy woman deep inside and on days when I feel good, old habits surface right back up and I think I am invincible and can do anything I want – including moving bookshelves at work, which I did Monday. My old nature of not asking for help lives on and I continue to think I can – and should – suck it up and do it all myself.

This is no longer working for me. The consequences outweigh the benefits now. I still have the drive inside me, the desire to do so many things. I’m young and I’m blessed with looking about ten years younger than I really am so people see me as being young too. (That has its advantages and disadvantages.) In my head, I have the energy to clean my entire house in one day, to move bookshelves at work and assemble furniture, to set up work areas, to weed my whole yard in an afternoon, and so on. In reality, when I try to do even one of these tasks, I’m stopped short about one-third of the way through by pain and fatigue, and I end up defeated – physically and emotionally. Within about twenty-four hours, I’m in chronic pain, and only complete rest of my body combined with physical therapy and chiropractor makes it better. I end up chastising myself for not slowing down, doing too much, and not asking for help.

Clearly, there are obvious things I need to do: Slow down, don’t do so much, ask for help. Let’s start with just slowing down, for now.

The blessing in this change is that I am able to stop and look around me. I am able to really enjoy the lush surroundings I’ve been planted in, to marvel at the antics of my little grandkids, to pay attention to my daughter’s belly as she grows another baby. I am learning to focus on what matters and discard what doesn’t matter. Having a perfectly tidy and clean house is less important than it used to be. Having my family around and someone to share my achievements with is my primary goal these days. Looking out the window and watching the huge maple leaves blow in the fall wind stirs up gratitude in my soul for everything I’ve been given. Just the fact that I can look out my window at trees and nature is a gift.

Life could be so much worse. And I can’t imagine it much better than this, although changes, for me, always end up bringing something better on the horizon, even if the immediate change doesn’t appear to be so great. Chronic pain sucks, but I’m eager to see what the benefit is in the long run and how my life – and me – will change and grow.

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Responses

  1. Change hasn’t been so gracious with me. Most of the changes I’ve seen of late have been for the worse. Hmm…. not sure why I even feel compelled to share this. Certainly don’t want to bring you down. I guess I’m hoping to show that even when life throws you more lemons than you can possibly use for lemonade, we Type-A women somehow still pull through. While you are fortunate that changes have been for the best, you’ll survive them even if they aren’t. I tried the slowing down route for a while and I honest to God would rather deal with the pain and battle the fatigue than to let things go undone. Still, if you manage to adapt, you’ll have to tell me your secret!

  2. Ouiser: I found out today that my chiropractor is going to get my insurance company to pay for the deep housecleaning I need done. I just can’t do the heavy stuff after my car accident last week and my new floors are going to get ruined if they aren’t properly cared for. I didn’t even know that insurance would cover it but you might look into something like that. I hate leaving stuff undone too, and sometimes I’ll push through the pain and do it, but the big stuff, I just can’t do. I have to learn to ignore it and look the other way.

  3. This was such a nice post. A lot of it’s familiar. I feel the same way about all of these changes as you. There’s a part of me that gets depressed or frustrated at times, but then there’s this other part that waiting to see what this is all about. In some ways, there’s a great anticipation about it all. Like you said, it forces you to stop and really take time to appreciate those things that are wonderful about your life.

    I can also really relate to the moving shelves, etc. I really prided myself on having a lot of physical strength. As single mothers, we learn that if you want the job done, you do it yourself. I loved building things, moving things, etc. I still do it sometimes, but I pay!


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