Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Living Lessons: Change and Growth

I just love it when my body wakes me up at 4:30 AM.  (That's sarcasm, in case you didn't catch on.  I know it's harder to get when you're reading).  Oh well, since I'm a glass half full type of person I'll make the best of it.  I have things to do this morning, like write random blogs, and iron shirts for picture day.  Can I just say: I HATE ironing.  When I iron, it still looks like the clothes were left crinkled up at the bottom of the laundry basket for day (a little secret: they were at one point).  I can't make the clothes look flat and non-wrinkly. I don't use starch.  I think I would be a mega-fail if it were still the 1950's.  But guess what? It's not, and I'm not a housewife.  I have a career.  I have three kids.  I have my own social life.  I exercise.  I couldn't fit much more into my days if I tried and how well I iron is not going to determine my worth!

Speaking of three kids.  We were up until almost 9 finishing homework last night with Number One.  Homework battles are out the window (thank goodness!), and he's finally "getting" the math problems, showing his work and doing it well.  But first we had cross country, then dinner, and by that time it was already 7:30  He worked diligently on his homework while waiting for dinner, but after dinner it took awhile for him to solve all the problems, show his work and explain it to me. We're getting there though.  Math has been hard for him this year, but last night I was super proud of him because he worked hard and didn't get frustrated.  If you know Number One personally, you know this is a major achievement.  Sometimes frustration can shut us all down, and once it's taken over it's hard not to let it overtake you. 

But I really wanted to post about CHANGE today.  This morning, as I lay awake in bed with the cogs in my head spinning out of control, I thought about CHANGE.  Change is such a scary word for some people.  My life has had a lot of change.  There have been ups and downs and go with the flows.  There have been some days I have felt I could barely move on.  Life is HARD people.  Life changes ALL.THE.TIME.

Here's what I've learned: accept change, but don't try to change others.  As I was thinking this morning about change, I thought about what a friend told me recently, "People don't change."  I don't think this is true, or maybe a better phrase is: I don't think this is entirely true.   I think people are dynamic.  I think they can look at themselves and make positive changes for themselves.  I don't think they can change for others, nor do I think they should.  I think they can only change if they really want to change.  But I'm not even sure "change" is the correct word here.  Maybe the word is grow or evolve or that self-helpy word: self awareness.  We grow into ourselves as children, feeling out the world around us and figuring out our place.  We grow into ourselves as adults, as parents, as empty nesters, and finally as elderly people.  The world around us changes.  Everything happens for a season, and then suddenly we are amidst new surroundings, new people, new thought processes, new technologies, and a new way of living our lives.

Look at your life 10 years ago and tell me if it looks the same?  Do you still hang out with the people you did 10 years ago?  Probably not.  Do you still enjoy the same activities? Probably not.  Did you have an iPhone 10 years ago? DEFINITELY NOT! 

Change is inevitable, even though for some it's scary.  Forcing change on others is a no-no (man this sentence really makes me feel like a toddler mom, sorry folks).  And I'll give you an example, even though it's not life altering or anything.  For years, I've bitten my nails.  NO--that's an understatement.  Since I've had teeth I've bitten my nails.  I can remember riding in my Mom's green Town-and-Country in high school, and she'd slap my hand, "Get those nails out of your mouth, Lauren!"  It only made me want to bite them more.  Strangers would tell me to stop biting my nails.  And recently a co-worker told me to stop biting my nails.  I looked at her and I said, "Why worry about something you can't change?"  This has been my mantra lately, and it has allowed me to look at my life and let things go.  It's made me realize that if you're so caught up on trying to change other people, then you're missing the point and you're not looking at the one person you can change: YOURSELF.  It took me a long time to realize, and I went about things incorrectly for a long time: criticizing, judging, and trying to change other people when I should have just been looking more closely at myself to see how I could incorporate more grace and understanding into my life.  This is something I'll probably be working on until the end of my days.  For now, I'll simply say the only person I'm going to ask to change from now on is myself.

1 comment:

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