Recently, my husband retired. Over the years, we discussed his retiring at this time, but ultimately, the decision came with mixed emotions. He has so identified with his work as an architect that retiring feels like closing a major life chapter. Yet, he is ready for less stress and a slower pace. As with most life changes, the pivotal question is “what’s next?”
Change is challenging for all of us. Following are some reasons:
We are Creatures of Habit
During quarantine in the early part of 2020, most of us realized we are creatures of habit. All that was familiar suddenly came to a screeching halt. No early morning trips to the gym, meeting friends for a meal, gathering as a family, attending church, or shopping in a store. We even longed for the mundane, like sitting in work or school traffic or roaming the grocery store.
In many ways, the familiarness of routine is comforting. When the familiar is upended by change, it takes a while to adjust. Not every change is met with joy. Perhaps there is even a period of mourning for that to which we were accustomed. All of us have the ability to change habits, excel, and thrive in new situations. But doing so may require determination and intentionality.
Change Creates Different Life Rhythms
One of the differences change creates is in schedule. Currently, the rhythm of our days is still in flux as we navigate being at home together at different times of the day.
I remember dealing with a similar change when our son, our youngest, went to college. I missed his late afternoon arrival from school and the sound of his guitar and cello. I missed talking to him.
Any life adjustment changes daily rhythms. Instead of fighting change, embrace it. Look for positives in an altered schedule, a different work environment, or time spent in new pursuits.
The Uncertainty of Unknowns
In recent weeks, I’ve spent time with several people who are struggling with uncertainty. No matter how strong the person, an element of fear is present in the unknown, involving what lies ahead. Often, anxiety rolls in to heighten the fear factor.
Whether you are facing declining health, a prolonged grief, a stunning discovery, or another form of uncertainty, be aware that God cares and is available to comfort and support. If you feel overwhelmed, seek help from a professional counselor. Remember that what you are experiencing now is temporary. No uncertainty is so great you can’t work through it.
Sometimes, multiple choices paralyze rather than giving options. Multiple choices are especially challenging for those who have a hard time making decisions. If change has brought you to an impasse and suspended forward motion, evaluate what is holding you back. Is it fear? Does change seem too massive to navigate? Figure out what is holding you captive and determine ways to catapult yourself beyond indecision.
If change has brought you to an impasse and suspended forward motion, evaluate what is holding you back.
Color Change Green
The entrance to our subdivision often looks like a long tunnel of color. I especially enjoy the various hues of green in spring. The verdant canopy increases daily as growth occurs, reminding me of renewal.
Life is a series of changes, and when those changes occur, we can color them negatively or positively. I encourage you to color your life changes green, shading them with new dimensions of hope, peace, and joy.
“For everything that happens in life—there is a season, a right time for everything under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 VOICE).
Color your life changes green, shading them with new dimensions of hope, peace, and joy.
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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