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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Playing the Girl Card

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Girl Card

Just like the “Man Card,” we girls have a card as well.

When I was younger, I held my Girl Card pretty close. I felt like I had to prove that I was just as good as the boys. So I handle 90% of my “stuff” on my own. (The other 10% consisted of a flat tire in sub-zero weather that I “handled” by calling my dad.)

It was good for me, because it proved – not only to the world but to myself – that I am woman, hear me roar. And not to get too high on my soapbox, the female of the species does have to prove themselves in the world. While I think that things are improving, we all still hear about the “glass ceiling” and “increasing leadership gender diversity” in business. Title IX gives parity in the educational system to women’s sports, but, in my experience, the boys often get the better fields, practices times, etc. And women are often still expected to take the majority of childrearing responsibilities or face the wrath of society for being “unnatural.”

Let’s take a quick time out: I want to be clear that these are all generalizations. My husband and I evenly shared raising the kids. Many schools’ girls’ teams are better supported than the boys’ team. And the fact that corporations are increasing the number of women in leadership positions all show that we’ve come a long way, Baby.

And I will be the first to admit that there are a goodly number of girls who are not helping the cause by personifying all of the worst stereotypes…the dumb blonde, the gold digger, the girls who can’t survive without a man to take care of them. We women need to be the strong individuals we can and should be.

That said, I began to realize as I got older that I didn’t have to prove myself at every turn. And the “Girl Card,” played judiciously, could be a good thing all around. It didn’t make me less of a person to admit that I couldn’t lift a box that weighed more than me. It didn’t diminish my worth if I asked my husband to clean the bathrooms, since he was “stronger than me and could scrub harder.” And yes, it didn’t make me “one of those girls” if I used a bit of flattery and eye-batting to get a job done.

With great power comes great responsibility, so you have to use the Girl Card for good, not evil. But with that mindset, THWACK! That was my Girl Card, hitting the table as I played it.

 

Love the One You’re With

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On the eve of Valentine’s Day, Cupid takes flight.  But he doesn’t always bring hearts and flowers.

When I was young, there were a number of Valentine’s Day where Cupid seemingly forgot where I lived.  But as I got older, I realized that my Valentine’s Day did not have to center around what someone else would do for me to prove their love on February 14.  It (finally) dawned on me that love didn’t – and shouldn’t – just come once a year.  It didn’t mean candy and flowers or even that special gift that showed that the boy in my life really did “understand” me.  Love is about the simple things…a hug, a smile, a reminder to wear gloves, a phone call to “…just say hey!”  The things that we can each do everyday to show that we care.  Not only about our loved ones but about those that need our attention.

I also realized that I didn’t need a “special someone” but that I could love the one I’m with all the time…me.  Now for some people, (I think they are professionally classified as “narcissists”) this is not a problem.  But I think for most people, we are generally so wrapped up worrying about what other people think and if they love us that we forget to love ourselves.

So two things to remember:  1)  February 14 shouldn’t be the only day that you show you care, and 2)  Share your love not only with others, but also with yourself.

To quote Crosby, Stills and Nash, “When you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”