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Change Happens: Celebration or Catastrophe?

Change Happens: Celebration or Catastrophe?

In this world there are two unavoidable truths: Death and Change.

Let’s talk about CHANGE!

Change Happens!

Consider the changes occurring from childhood to adulthood. Changes occurring across the lifespan affect most people across the globe in fairly similar patterns, but with obvious cultural variations. From birth to about age 5 years old, changes or developmental milestones are exciting for parents, and critical for indicating healthy growth. For example, first steps, first words, first day at school, and more. Children experience much change simply because they’re young,  growing, and learning. To children everything is new and different. By the teenage years, both puberty and adolescence have taken over their bodies and minds, and the changes are very obvious. Just ask the parents of any teenager! For many reasons the changes occurring during teenage years are difficult – no longer a child –  but not yet an adult. Older teens or school-leavers make a big change moving towards working or further studies. The 20’s-something-age-group, with the 30’s and 40’s all generally involve increasing adult responsibilities, career development, and for some, parenthood. The 50’s and 60’s are typically decades where people enjoy, or suffer, efforts from their previous decades. Eventually leading towards retirement and unavoidable death.

Different cultures or societies often have their traditional ways to celebrate the changes that occur across the lifespan. First birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, and college graduations are just some examples.  Birthdays often equate to change, and another year older and wiser! Celebrating annual birthdays and age milestones are generally keenly awaited occasions until people reach the legal adult age in their country. Commonly children and teenagers can’t wait to ‘grow up’ and reach adulthood so they can legally ignore their parents or caregivers! Remember that transition!  Your parents do! And for the more fortunate, childhood birthdays also mean parties, gifts and special treats.

Happy Birthday Cake

However celebrating birthdays often has less appeal as people get older, especially in Western societies…When do people begin to lie about their real age? In their 30’s or 40’s?? Do you lie about your age?

So why is there less celebration of change as people grow older? Are children more resilient and open to trying new and different things? Are teenagers so brazen and clouded by hormones that they’ll try anything and everything? Are adults so stubborn and set in their ways? Can you teach an old dog new tricks? When do people begin avoiding change? Forever turning 39 years old! Staying in dead-end jobs instead of reaching for their dreams!

Yes – everybody is different, with different life circumstances, abilities, available supports, and coping skills.

Now think about the changes across your entire life:

  • Were they big or small changes?
  • Many big changes?
  • How did you cope with change?
  • Were the changes negative, neutral, or positive?
  • Did you avoid, accept, welcome, or seek change?
  • What were the overall outcomes of the changes?
  • Would you do it again the same way?

Now let’s revisit my earlier comment – change happens. Change is unavoidable no matter how much we convince ourselves otherwise. How you approach and perceive change can influence the outcomes of  the inevitable changes occurring in your life time.

Basically, if you fear change and avoid it, you may suffer greatly when change is thrust upon you uninvited. If you embrace change as part of the life cycle, you may do better, or at least move through the transition more easily.

The simple answer is learn how to love change!

Change happens, so we might as well learn to accept it and embrace it!

Spurting Fireworks

Enjoyed this post? Well its part of a series titled ‘Change Happens”. Please click on these links to read:

Change Happens: Crawl, Walk, Run, Cycle, Drive!

Change Happens: Try this at home!

by Monica Jakovich

Become a Possible Being.