Changing, Changing, Changing

I have a friend who works for a man who doesn’t like him, not a good situation.  His supervisor not only passes over my friend for promotions he deserves, he enjoys rubbing his nose in it by asking what he thinks of those he’s promoting instead.  Yet my friend doesn’t look for another position because he doesn’t like to change jobs.  I, on the other hand, changed jobs five times in the first ten years after graduating from college.   I always enjoyed the first six months in a new position, learning the ropes while being the New Kid in Town.   For the first forty years of my life, I’d have told you I liked change.  I was lucky … life didn’t throw me any major curves and I was pretty much in control.  Sitting here at sixty-eight, I’ve seen the number of curve balls increase with each passing year, and I’ve learned that I can’t always hit them.  In other words, I liked changes that I could control.  Those others, not necessarily.

Let’s talk about those others, the ones I can’t control, like illness and aging and economic downturns that politicians talk about changing but rarely do.   I find it interesting how people deal with those.   I know people who just say, I hate change, which seems sort of like saying, I hate breathing … when either stops, life is over.  He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery, former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson has said**. It’s my experience change-haters tend to be a grumpy bunch, anyway.  There are others who say that all change is neutral … we decide whether it’s good or bad.   That’s an argument that I like philosophically but when a friend is sick, it’s hard to tell my feelings that their illness is neutral.   I have the same problem with the everything-happens-for-a reason approach.  I actually believe it but so many times, I don’t like the reason or just can’t imagine what it is.   Sometimes I can find solace in the fact that changes I don’t like eventually bring positive results. I can draw on the wisdom** of Marilyn Monroe: Sometimes, good things fall apart so better things can fall together.  After all, when my employer of 25 years closed our office in 1999, it led me to a better career as a consultant.  If I want to take my guidance from a more serious soul, I can follow concentration camp survivor, Viktor Frankl, who said**, When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.   Sometimes, I do need a kick in the ass.  However, I will never learn to like being kicked in the ass.  Sometimes, pragmatism seems to work best … as William Ward said**, The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.  Who cares how or why?  Simply adapt.

At the end of the day, pure acceptance seems to work best and for me that kind of acceptance can only come from a spiritual perspective.   I can turn my will and life over to the care of God or ask for the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.  I don’t have to understand.  OK, I don’t always like that either.

How do you deal with change?

** all quotes courtesy brainyquote.com

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2 Comments on “Changing, Changing, Changing”


  1. […] Changing, Changing, Changing (oldereyes.wordpress.com) […]


  2. I try to adhere to the serenity prayer although I have to confess that there are times when figuring out what can or can not be changed is quite the challenge. Sometimes, every now and again, accepting that which can’t be changed is more than a trifle difficult to do too but in general, I just keep slogging along. One day at a time!


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