When I was a kid, I was really terrible at handling change. I couldn’t stand it when activities and events would alter from the path that I had been ready for. Unexpected moments would send me into teary conniptions. My mom would often have to prepare me when we’d go out, reminding me that I may have to eat things I wasn’t used to, or that the other kids might not want to play in the same way that I wanted to. We’d walk through possible scenarios so that I’d be mentally prepared to accept the variations as they came.
The birth of my sister, the ultimate in adaptation, took me years to adjust to. Before she was born, I suggested to my parents that we paint the baby’s room black (despite the fact that there was no baby’s room, only the bedroom we would be sharing). Soon after that, my mother walked into that bedroom to find me stabbing the crib mattress with a metal nail file* (she thought she had left it out of reach, but I was a craft two and a half year old). After Raina was born, I spent several weeks pulling the hair of every adult who came into reach (the grown-ups around me soon learned to keep their heads away from my fingers).
Over the years, I’ve actively worked at become more adept at handling change. I’ve learned through experience that the old adage, “The only constant in life is change” is deeply true. But the knowledge that change is necessary doesn’t actually make the event of it much easier to deal with.
Right now I’m working hard at letting go of something I thought was going to happen in the near future and adjusting to the reality that has been left behind in its stead. I’m not pulling hair or stabbing things, but I admit to having had a few teary moments (although I’ve always been quick to tears). While I wait for the discomfort of the adjustment to ease, I remember that with every change comes gifts (I need only look at my sister to know that this is true).
*This used to read cuticle scissor, but my mom called this morning to correct my facts and so I’ve set the post straight.