For most of my life I've been a changoholic. Couldn’t get enough of it. Here are some examples:
Immediately after college, in 1986, I took my first job in Cleveland, a city I had never visited prior to my job interview, and where I was acquainted with no one. I just needed a change from Maine (which I returned to three years later).
In the year 2000, my wife and I decided to uproot our family from our hometown and move from northern Maine to southern Maine, just because we needed a change in scenery.
After 25 years of marriage, we have our fifth house up for sale, and are searching for our sixth. The longest time that we have lived in any house is six years. We renovate the houses to the point where they suit us perfectly, and then something changes.
When I was a working professional, one of the most universally dreaded events was a reorganization. But I loved reorganizations. There was usually something significantly wrong with the status quo business plan, and I always viewed these changes as an opportunity for us to get it right. Furthermore, reorganizations allowed me to put my mark on the new business strategy, instead of being constrained by an inherited one.
I could (try to) impress you with a psychological analysis of why I have always craved change, but that is not my point here. My point here is that my appetite for change has, well, changed.
Whereas change used to fuel my very existence, today I would be thrilled if nothing ever changed again. In the past, change delivered a mixture of the good and the bad, but on balance I felt it was a positive force. Change still brings a mixture of the good and the bad, but is now heavily slanted toward the bad.
Recent good change
1. Son graduated from high school
2. Daughter graduated from college
Recent bad change
1. Never mind. I won’t bore you with the litany of changes MS has ushered in.
Potential future good change
1. More weddings, graduations, and babies coming from our family's younger generation
2. Me winning the lottery
Potential future bad change
1. I won’t frighten/alarm/sadden you with a list of the changes MS has in store for me in the coming months and years.
2. Sarah Palin as President
I often sit here and think, “If the disease progression would just stop, I could be satisfied with a life like this.” After all, it’s not the devil I know that frightens me.
But what a self-indulgent wish this is. Doesn’t the cancer patient or the ALS patient feel the same way? Don’t the elderly? Doesn’t everybody to some extent? Since each day brings us closer to our inevitable exit, isn’t the desire for time to slow down or stop simply a manifestation of our survival instinct? When I begin to travel down this well-worn path I try to snap myself back to reality, and live in the present instead. I have mixed and temporary success with the snapping-back, but I keep working at it.
So how has change been treating you lately? Do you embrace it, dread it, or do you just roll with the punches?