Oh My! You Mean I Have to Change?

by on July 12, 2017

Oh My! You Mean I Have to Change?

Change Dictionary Definition Word Adapt EvolveMy first wife, Jeanne, often said to me I was a “creature of habit.” The implication was that if I did not do things in the same way, for the same daily activities, it would throw me off at that moment, and could impact the entire rest of my day. I’ll admit to that, to an extent. I know that even now that Jeanne has been gone from my life on an everyday basis for a number of years, I will still do things routinely, particularly if they are mundane items that I do getting ready for my day in the morning, or before going to bed in the evening.

Sometimes my routines serve me well. I for example take daily medications, and I am proud of the fact that I don’t ever skip dosages and I am very good at following regiments that are meant to help my health. To some extent, while I know that my schedule can change due to client needs, I am good about keeping excellent records on the calendar where I do my scheduling and on the financial records, where I keep track of my business’ revenue and expenses.

On the other hand, in many circumstances I react very well when crisis occurs. In fact, the more serious the crisis, the better I am. (Sometimes on less important things, I actually become unglued, which if there is one saving grace, I rather it happen on the less important than the more important things that happen). If a situation is changing, (health of a relative or loved one, a number of items appearing to come together at the same time on the calendar), I’m actually thinking ahead to how not only I, but those around me, may need to react if something more critical occurs. Some of it can be attributed to situations which have occurred in the past, and have prepared me for the future. Some of it is attributable in that I consider myself a good planner. A lot of it is “having pride,” in my ability to guide others through troubling times.

Why is this all coming to a head for me at this time? Lately I have been having a difficult time in terms of my emotions and what I consider others, resistance or denial, to accepting change. The relationships involved have been close and personal. My wife and I have been in a situation, which I prefer to keep confidential, that we prepared ourselves to react one way in respect to a situation at hand. Others, on the other hand, were focused on the same routine they do year after year, and insisting it had to stay the same way, (even if it meant resisting the wishes of an elderly relative who for all intents and purposes was clear on her wishes, but was told that she had no say whatsoever in a matter that directly impacted her well-being).

It turns out the ones who were resistant to change got their way this time. My emotions are cooling down. My wife completely focused her efforts on that elderly relative, and while disagreeing on what was done, was 100% making sure that elderly relative was kept safe while being forced to do what was against her will. (A quick lesson for me here, is on focusing on others who may handle a stressful situation differently than me, but keep their focus on the most important item in the scenario). And, tomorrow my wife and I will spend a couple of days away actually taking us to the situation we were prepared not to have in our life this year, but doing it differently than we have done for the last six years.

Change is not easy for many. It is impossible for some. And, it is inevitable for all of us in some circumstances. As this month’s quote for the Absolute Transition’s website highlights, often it is on the focus of what we are “giving up” that keeps us from wanting to change. Bringing in the piece, even if it feels more painful than what we are giving up at the time, may lie the ultimate lesson for us.

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Next Steps

by on June 28, 2017

Next Steps

Next Steps Old Wooden SignI have spent this weekend in Alabama at the graduation of my nephew.  It was great to see all of the young people receiving their diplomas and moving onto the next step in their lives.  For many it was onto their college experience.  For others it was actually returning to their home countries as they were exchange students who had done their high school years in the United States.  A few will be moving into the working world.

When I was at a comparable point in my life, students went from their high school years, onto college or into the working world.  What was often different was the next stage of life.  Working world positions often lasted for many years, sometimes an entire working life career.  After work life was over, many went onto retirement, whatever that meant for them.  And, frankly after that, old age came on quickly and ultimately failing health and moving on from this life.

Today’s world is far different than the one which I knew when I was a younger man.  The experience that the High School graduates that I viewed is often replicated by others in their life several times through their working life and beyond.  The reality of the world of today is this: the average job/work experience for an individual is to last 4 to 5 years before a change is faced.  When one thinks about what that translates to, the young people I witnessed achieving their high school graduation will likely face 12 to 13 job changes and possibly even 4 to 5 career changes over their next 40 to 45 years.  Additionally, those who “retired” in the past, now find that those years that were known as the “retirement years,” are actually a bridge for a 2nd, 3rd or whatever number lifestyle change, before facing the possibility of needing medical assistance in the last stages of a long life.

The graduates are conditioned for change in their world.  Often their parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and more mature adult friends are not.  For their elders, a world that frequently changes has required learning new skills, new ways of approaching and working with and through others, and a need to examine and understand what they contribute to the world in terms of the skills they possess and the value they provide to others and not just their job title.  It has meant maybe moving from the idea of working for someone else or some corporation to perhaps working in their own business.  It is facing the fact that the world they knew is much more of a service based economy than a manufacturing based economy.  For example, it is forecasted that by 2020 40% of those working will be doing so as freelancers, consultants, contractors and moving from assignment to assignment.  Just the style of working has built into it the need to focus on where that next opportunity may be coming.

Are you prepared for what is next in your life?  If you say you don’t know what that may be, that is OK for now.  However, are you open NOW to exploring new skills to learn?  Are you open NOW to taking a seminar that may expose you to topics and ideas that you may want to explore in the future?   Are you asking yourself the question NOW, what would you do if what you do today all of a sudden is no longer there for you?  Much like the graduates who will face next steps throughout the upcoming years of their lives, we all are facing NEXT STEPS far more frequently.  The key is not dreading those next steps but being open to exploring and embracing what they may bring. 

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My Printer and Me

June 14, 2017

My Printer and Me Recently I was having issues with my computer set-up.  It started with a bad internet connection.  That in turn led to very slow computer response, from any website I would try to bring up on my machine.  I then noticed that the computer appeared to be losing the connection to my […]

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It’s Always Somethin’

May 24, 2017

It’s Always Somethin’ One of the funniest sketches on the program Saturday Night Live has always been the Weekend Update segment.   Even from its very beginning, Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtin did a marvelous job at the anchor desk. The sketch always featured guest correspondents. Gilda Radner’s “Roseanne Rosanadanna” was always sure to draw huge […]

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It Meant Something to Me

May 10, 2017

It Meant Something to Me While the blogs I write are often meant to share thoughts and advice to my readers and clients, I must admit that there is a bit of therapeutic selfishness in the one you are about to read. Today I appear to have lost a ring that was given to me […]

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