We Fear Change

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I recently read something: The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions. If people equate change with death, no wonder they fear it.

I won’t lie; I’m not always a fan of change. I don’t like it when my grocery store stops selling my favorite brand of coffee and I have to find a new one (new coffee, not grocery store). I don’t like it when they move my favorite TV show to a new night (usually a sign that the end is nigh). These are small changes and an annoyance, but I complain for a while and then deal with it.

Bigger changes are harder. Life-changing events can be good or bad but difficult either way. Moving to a new home is exciting but exhausting. Welcoming a new baby is exhilarating but even more exhausting.

I’ve had a number of life changes in the last several years. My daughter going away to college was a big change, and definitely hard. My son getting his driver’s license was a big change. I was supposed to somehow relinquish control in a big way, but it is nice that I don’t have to drive him to those early morning baseball practices anymore. Losing my job was hard, but I was in a rut, so I was able to see that change as a good one. It forced me out of the rut…that did feel like a grave on some days…and made me embrace the change.

Throughout these changes, I’ve look at each as an opportunity to take back control. I am now in a position to determine how I want to change my life and control my own destiny. And it feels good.

How do you master Change, rather than be its victim?

 

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You Gotta Know When to Hold ‘Em

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I am not a gambler. But I find I am betting on long shots and playing the cards I’m dealt every single day.

I have nothing against gambling, but I generally don’t see the allure of throwing money away on a roll of the dice. I have friends who love to play Texas Hold’em and really enjoy it. I’ll play for chicken stakes if I need to but I just don’t enjoy it the way they do.

So I assumed that I wasn’t a gambler…or at least a good one. But I find that I gamble a little every day. Will my garden project work the way I want it to? Will that new recipe turn out the way I think it will? Let it ride…

The bigger pots bring scarier risks. Will this new short haircut look good on me? Will this new car last as long as the old one? Blow on the dice for me…

But it is the really big action that can do me in that scare me the most. Is this the right job for me? Should I try to start my own business? Is this the right life for me?

You can’t go through life without taking risks, and sometimes, you have to go all in. And while I’ll never be a whale, I’m taking more calculated risks, where the odds are a little in my favor. We all need to take more risks, whether it’s trusting in yourself, your loved ones, the fates, or even Lady Luck herself.

But pay attention: The signs are there if you know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.

 

Taking a Chance

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When I was young, I rarely thought about risk.

That’s not to say that I took unnecessary risks. I thought about the possible outcomes, and then decided if it was worth it or not. And usually, it was.

Sadly, I recently noticed that as the years pile on, I second guess myself more and more. It makes sense. As we get older – and more experienced – we realize that the risks might be greater than we thought. And as we get older, we generally have more responsibilities…spouse, kids, extended family and friends…that we don’t want to disappoint. A mortgage, student loans or college funds…bills we literally can’t afford to default on. Expectations, a reputation, personal standards…that we don’t want to compromise.

And as time go on, we also take on the input of the world around us. The boss that constantly criticizes, the friends that question our choices, the family that “lovingly” worry out loud if that’s “really a good idea.”

In fact, it has gotten so bad for me that I even second guess myself on simple decisions…should I add salt or salt substitute to the pork chops. And that literally was the moment of my epiphany: I need to stop overthinking. If the chops are too salty, we have at least three pizza joints on speed dial.

My tip of the day? Stop worrying so much. Most mistakes are not so dire that they can’t be fixed. Most decisions are not so irrevocable that they cannot be reversed. And most of the time, I’ve found, that I’ve learned good lessons in bad situations.

This – my inaugural blog – is the perfect example. I have these “thought pops” in my head – things that I want to share. And it feel like the right thing for me to do. So welcome to my little corner of the world.

I know it’s a chance, but I’m taking it.