Everything Is Good. Change Is Hard
Abundance flows through my life right now. Nothing else quite describes it accurately. Through planning and a lot of hard work, my own and others, my team at work was going supposed to get some contracted help and grow by one last October. Unexpected delays meant the contract help didn’t happen in October as planned. However, through unexpected circumstances and chance, my team still grew by one in November. The contract help finally arrived in June this year. So in the end, over the last 10 months, my team doubled in size from two to four!
At the beginning of the year, inspired by my child hood best friend’s 50th birthday in July, I reached out to our high school friend group and started planning a get together. She is the first one of us to turn 50. The rest of us face that milestone next year. As we planned the location and set the dates, I realized this trip would be my first real vacation. A trip where I was going to see friends, not family. A trip that was not to a conference or a job interview. A trip that didn’t involve eloping or renewing vows. That trip will happen in about a week, and three weeks after I get home, I’ll be going on my second vacation. The second vacation happened purely by chance and it is an amazing opportunity that I can’t pass up.
Doubling my team, doubling my vacations, is there anything else I could call this year, except abundant? You know that each year around my birthday I choose a word for the year, a word that guides my thinking and interpretations throughout the year. My word for this last year was “balance.” So, I find all this abundance amusing. Not exactly surprising, but amusing.
We often only think about change in the context of upheaval and negative events, but accepting and adapting to good things, to abundance brings change as well. A larger team requires more from me, particularly right now when half of them are going through their first fall semester. My old work habits and routines don’t quite fit. Taking two actual vacations in one year forces me to adjust the way I think of myself. To confront the areas I’ve let myself believe I’d healed without prodding too deeply. Yet, everything is good.
And, well, as the title says, change is hard. All this abundance creates change that pushes at my growth edges, and I am not in a very comfortable place right now. I am grateful; I am joyful; I am excited, but I am not comfortable. I started noticing it when I made the first batch of granola in two years. When it became stronger, I made a pot of meat sauce to freeze for the winter, and rearranged two of my kitchen cabinets. That is when I realized I’d fallen into my old stress-relief patterns and that the general unease I constantly felt was that old piece of armor, foreboding joy, calling to be put back on. The cooking, the cleaning, the vigilance – I was trying to prepare for the disaster that must surely be right around the corner. It surprised me. I thought I’d put down that bit of armor for good a while ago.
Y’all have been around here long enough to recognize the Brené Brown lingo when you see it! As she laid out in Daring Greatly, gratitude and staying in the moment counteract foreboding joy. All I can do is say “Yes.” and “Thank you.” then enjoy it all. So, as we approach my birthday, it is time for me to choose a new word to help me navigate the year. Given the way these good changes are pushing at me, I think “present” will be my word for the year. Reminding myself to stay present will help me stay grateful and accept the abundance bringing change to my life … even when change is hard.