Monday, May 28, 2018

When Life Changes You

Every stage of life brings about changes.  There is always plenty of physical changes that are normal.  If we move schools, homes, or jobs, our physical locations change.  If we are 'normal' our wants and desires change over time too.  But then there are crises or traumatic events that change you even further.  Returning to what is normal after that is sometimes not possible or not even desirable anymore.  The older you get, the more life may change you.  Is that good?  Is that the way it is 'supposed' to be?

I have an adorable little boy who just learned to walk.  He's extra adorable to me because he resembles another little boy who is now 7.  J and the Race Car embody two very different stages in my life.  One is newness, naivety and deep wells of feelings.  The other is bursting with activity, seasoned joy and determination.  And yet to me they are just two sides of a ball (another thing they share a love for).  This walk of motherhood has brought about changes in me.  This decade (plus) of marriage has brought about growing pains and harsh realities.  Shock and grief took hold of me last summer after a season of severe change. As it turned out, I had all kinds of emotions tied up in my sweet dog, Grace and when she died this final part of my shifting identity went with it.  Who I was when I first got her was completely gone (it felt like).

That feeling of change can be empowering and assuring, but sometimes it is unfamiliar and unsettling.  Or better yet, to me it is just overwhelming sometimes.  I feel loyalty to this person I used to be and the priorities she had, but the life that now is holds so many different things.  The reality is I cannot honor both fully at the same time and to try undermines it all.  So what can be done when life changes you and you're not exactly okay with it all?  I guess the same thing we always need to do when we don't like what we're getting.

-Accentuate the POSITIVE.  Be thankful about all things. Life is different and not what we expected, but that's not all bad.  Many of the things I dreamed of having or doing in my adult years are mine.   A God who has never left me without hope, a committed husband, healthy children, a taste of the country, many freedoms to do what I want.

-Set a Game Plan.  When things don't work out like you want, then it is usually time for a new and improved plan perhaps with slightly adjusted goals.  Instead of wallowing in what isn't, it's time to take what is and look for what it could be. 

The changing is never going to stop, so I'm told, but it is worthwhile to do it in as healthy a way as possible.
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