35 Comments

  1. I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older and more self-aware I handle change in a more mellow way. Or maybe I should say I handle change in a more straightforward way. I see if for what it is, don’t fret, then do what needs to be done. Less angst, more confidence. If only I’d have been like this at 30 the places I would have gone!

    • That’s great, Ally. I think that’s the key, fret less about things you can’t change and act on the circumstances as they are. So much midlife knowledge we could have used in our younger years, but at least we are teachable! Have a lovely day.

  2. I’m not a big worrier but, like anyone, I feel stress with any big change – even positive ones. The nice thing about dealing with this stress when we are older is the knowledge that we will get through it… just like we’ve gotten through changes in the past. You’ve put together a nice list of reminders and pointers. I hope that most of changes that you’ve gone through these past few months have been good ones, and, for those that aren’t good, I hope you’ve found the loving support that you need.

    • I agree, Janis, surviving stressful times builds resilience and a confidence in our abilities. The biggest change for me recently was good–moving (work) into a brand-new building, but I was a little surprised at how much I’d come to rely on the familiar comforts of the old place after 20 years there. I am adjusting, though, and the new location is great.

  3. I find as I age that change is more stressful, but I have been leaning heavily on one of your items: focus on the things you can control not on the things you can’t. For me that means staying immediate and taking things step by step. breathe deeply. move forward.

    • Staying immediate and deep breathing have served me well through many a crisis–both real and imagined. 🙂 It’s interesting to me that some people find change easier to handle as they age, and others find it more stressful. Perhaps, it’s due in part to the perception that life should be settling down some. When we are younger, we expect things to be continually changing and developing.

  4. I like change and usually don’t struggle with change except for when it brings extra work. We just bought the house across the street. We are moving in a couple of weeks. I am excited but my husband does not like change so he is struggling a bit, and we are only moving ACROSS THE STREET! We will still have the same neighbors and the same neighborhood. I figure that change is inevitable and we might as well accept it. I also ask myself, what does this make possible?

    • I love your attitude about change, Michele. Looking with anticipation at all the possibilities that are opening up to you makes change much more inviting. Good luck with the move. That is a big task, whether it’s across the country or across the street.

  5. What a great post, we all go through a significant change at some point. The biggest change I went through about 3 years ago, was to finally get my unwilling mom into a memory care residence, she was trying to live in her car with my special needs brother, which was totally unnecessary, dementia had set in, she would not let go of the car and kept on the road, it was very scary. I had to learn a lot of things in a hurry and then assist my brother with the arduous steps and protocol to establish an appropriate group home for him. It was a very stressful year with quite a few tears and near breakdowns, every day calling state and federal agencies to make sure they were doing their part and staying on deadline, which rolled back a few times. All the while hoping my husband would have patience, of which he has little. I worked through it by spending quality time with my brother while he was with us and nurtured his understanding of everything. And I stayed busy checking on my mom, taking her supplies, and all that goes with that. Now that I have been through that, anything that comes up pales in comparison! Mom has passed and my brother is living a very happy life working and participating in wonderful programs, he is too busy for me now, ha! So, I know the drill now and work through changes and stress much better at age 57 than I did when I was much younger. Oh, and, breast cancer 8 years ago, now that’s a really big change, how did I forget that? That really puts things into perspective 😀
    #MLSTL

    Lori Jo

    • Thanks for sharing your personal stories, Lori Jo. You certainly have been through a lot, and as you said, you are stronger for it and able to take life’s little changes in stride. I’m happy to hear you and your brother are doing well now. Life has not been at all what I expected when I was younger, but it is an amazing journey, full of highs and lows, twists and turns. Hang on and enjoy the ride, huh?

  6. Hi Christie,
    You’ve made lots of good points in your post about change. Two additional suggestions – focus on bright spots – times when you’ve made other changes, like your Orange Theory workouts, that went well.
    And do your best to get involved in one change at a time. Sometimes that’s impossible if the changes are coming at you fast and furious. If that’s the case, try to stay as much in the moment as possible. Lots of change fears are about what’s going to happen in the future. Rarely are those problems in the present moment so we want to reside there just as much as we can! #MLTSL

    • Thank you for the great advice, Karen. Successfully maneuvering one change and reflecting on that success builds confidence in our ability to handle other changes. And if you are choosing changes, one at a time is much more productive and less overwhelming than numerous changes at once. When I find myself worrying about something in the future, I like to remind myself that worrying (unless it leads to preparation of some sort) won’t make the future event any less painful, if it does happen; it only extends the pain. And if the feared event doesn’t take place or isn’t as bad as I thought, I caused myself all that discomfort for nothing. Then it comes down to, as you said, staying in the moment. It may sound funny, but I ask myself, “Where are your feet right now?” That simple question pulls me back into my present surroundings?

  7. A thoughtful post, Christie! I always prided myself that I was open to change (pride being the operative word)…until I wasn’t. As I’ve aged and do not work full time, I have less tolerance to change. When it happens I tend to feel varying levels of anxiety as all the what if’s and shoulds come flying at me. When I’m working with my college students who go through unique life experiences (good stress sometimes), I explain that their physiological responses to these are the same in good or bad stress. This summer, we’ve experienced grief over deaths in the family, marriages, and an upcoming 40 year high school reunion. These create stress and change and I feel that age and experience has given me some wisdom to recognize events and other change for what they are. Catching up with posts via #MLSTL

    • Thank you for the insightful comment, Terri. It is interesting that positive and negative changes both cause anxiety. That was driven home to me this month when we moved our office into a brand new beautiful building. For the first week, I had this low-level anxiety that seemed to stem from being in unfamiliar surroundings. I am starting to feel more at home now. Also, once I accepted that some anxiety was to be expected, I quit stressing out about being stressed, accepted that emotion, and it passed.

  8. I’ve had many big changes in the past few years. From retirement to moving homes to dealing with cancer. I’ve learned to manage change better since I’ve tried to practice positivity. “It will be OK” is my mantra through change now.

    Someone once gave me the metaphor of a trapeze for life changes. You need to let go of one side and reach for the other, flying through the air and hoping to grab the other side. I think of that sometimes when dealing with changes… and knowing that I’ve probably got a safety net in place somewhere.

    • The trapeze is a perfect metaphor, Pat, and you bring up an important point. Knowing that you have a safety net in place can make change much less scary. And the ideal time to set up those safety nets–people, finances, coping skills–is before change is thrust upon you. Thanks for sharing your insight. Have a wonderful day!

  9. Hi Christie, I’ve experienced many changes in my life but the most recent and difficult was taking early retirement. It has been 4 years and I’m finally starting to feel like I am in a good place. After working for most of my life, retirement was certainly a shock to the system and one that people underestimate. I’ve written about Change before and agree it can be a good thing – we just have to adapt and adjust. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL it is always a pleasure to have you join us. xx
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    • Thank you Sue. I think of you as a great example of someone living a full, gracious life. I realize I don’t know you well, but a blog like yours tells you a lot about a person. I hope to follow your example at making retirement a positive change–even if a bit of an adjustment period is needed. I’m doing my best to prepare and not underestimate the change, as you say. Thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom gained. Have a happy day.

  10. I think I deal with change better now than I did when I was younger Christie. I think I’m finally getting the whole worry and over-thinking thing more under control. What I dislike about change is how unsettling it is during the transition period. I don’t mind it when it’s over and done with, but the upheavals that often accompany it cause my stress levels to rise – despite my best intentions to keep them under control.

    Visiting from #MLSTL and to let you know I’ve shared this on my SM xx

    • Yes, Leanne, as you point out, despite our best intentions, worry sometimes gets the best of us. However, I think the ability to recognize that stress is normal and will pass is a victory in itself. Thanks, as always, for hosting #MLSTL.

  11. Great post and it was your title that grabbed my attention.
    I have weathered a lot of changes in the past 4 years that were based on decisions made for the RIGHT reasons (economic, life ages etc) but they hit me from an emotional perspective that took me until a cancer diagnosis to put them in their place.
    I have needed to embrace changes that were out of my control but for my health and that was something I learned..to trust those I have engaged to help me get well.
    It really helps me to take some moments outside to gather my thinking and see broader views fo the world too. My little world may seem big to me but in context…not as HUGE.
    Denyse #MLSTL

    • You certainly have experienced a big change with your cancer diagnosis, Denyse. I am so impressed with your resiliency and your life perspective. Thank you for blogging about it. It really does take one BIG change to put all the little stressors of life in perspective. I’m glad you have the medical support team to help you through–and, of course, Mother Nature. I have also found that taking a broader view of the world helps me see myself and my issues in context. Here’s to your health and happiness!

  12. Change has always been hard for me though as I get older I am more accepting. I think about a sign I read recently that said: “fear and faith are both asking you to believe in something unseen”. I try to go with faith.

  13. My most recent change was an interstate move; a big one! Even though it was long planned and much anticipated it was still stressful. Someone wise once told me that even much desired change can be stressful and I think that’s true, international travel is one that comes to mind. But I consider those sorts of changes to be positive stress rather than negative stress.

    • I agree 100 percent, Jan. Even change you choose, like moving or travel, creates stress, but with the anticipation of good things to come. If we accept that stress comes with the territory, it makes life much easier. Thanks for commenting. I always appreciate what you have to say. Have a great weekend!

  14. What a great article! You really put things in perspective. I’d always been bored with routine and fought hard against it, welcoming change. Up until about five years ago I was a master multi-tasker and juggled tasks all day every day. As I got older I discovered routine can be comforting and a disruption of it would cause me stress. I certainly don’t want to become a boring old lady, but I did realize I needed to slow down a bit. I’m teaching myself to channel Steve Winwood and “roll with it baby” more. I’m learning to identify the things that really matter to me and move them up my priority list.

    • Hello Patti and welcome! Isn’t it interesting how our perspective changes through life. I’m glad you’re learning to identify the things that really matter to you and focusing on those. I’m working on that too–both the big things and the little pleasures that I want to make room for. Thanks for visiting my blog. I’m off to see yours now.

  15. “Don’t stress out about stressing out” … LOVE this (and need to put into practice).
    Change is indeed inevitable. GREAT suggestions for helping us cope.
    Pinning to my #MSTL board for future reference

  16. I have been wanting to quit my current job and move on to doing other things but I keep putting it off because I am scared. The job is getting stressful enough that my cholesterol ratio is going up enough that my doctor wants me to think about meds, I don’t want it so I’m preparing to work on my job and stress so I get those levels to drop over the next year. Once I quit, I have a plan that I will do with the stress relief built in.

    • Hello Lee! Working a job you do not enjoy is no way to live. I’m glad you have a plan in place to move on to something that suits you better. Changing careers is scary, but it sounds like it will definitely be worth it. All the best to you in your future endeavors!

  17. Christie I’ve lost count of the changes in my life over the past twelve years.!it just seems to be one change after another but I think I’m fairly good at coping and accepting change now. I think acceptance is helpful to coping with change

    • I agree, Jennifer, acceptance is perhaps the biggest key to coping with change. If you get all caught up in resisting the change or worrying that it’s not fair, you can’t take control of taking the change in a positive direction. May all your changes ultimately be good ones!

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