Thursday, July 25, 2013

Making Time for Change

This morning, I realized something significant. I'm a 30-day change person. What do I mean by that? Simply that it takes me about 30 days to feel comfortable in a change. Big or small, it takes a while to adjust.

As I was mulling this over, I realized that we have lived in 4 different places in the last 24 months. I could have said the same 4 months ago, when we moved here. Three houses. One apartment. Four cities (to be fair, three were in the same area). Two countries. I've got this moving thing down. But each change took a little while to digest.

I read recently that every habit we have was once something
new that we had to grow accustomed to. My bowl-of-oatmeal-everyday-for-breakfast habit began with that single first bowl of oatmeal. The put-the-vegan-food-leftovers-in-the-compost-bin habit began with the first apple core. It all began somewhere, and took a little while to become a habit. It is true of the less healthy habits as well. My stay-up-late-at-night-when-I-should-be-sleeping habit started with the first late night, which I believe happened somewhere in my early teens and has lasted to this day.

None of this is news, so why was it so significant for me this morning? I realized that it is not only the passing of days that is required for my comfort in a new habit. Time can pass, and I will still be fighting like it was the first time. I have to make time for change. The catchword I've seen floating around is "mindfulness" ... I have to be mindful of the change. To embrace it. To allow myself time to mourn the loss (even if it is a good loss) and savor the novelty. Only then can I embrace the new and peacefully leave the old behind.

Now a little laugh for you. What prompted all this soul-searching? I'm not a morning person. Fact. We have a new puppy. Fact. My husband's alarm goes off at 5:00am, waking me and the puppy ... oddly enough, not awakening him. Fact. I'm mourning the loss of sleep. I'm mourning the loss of morning time to myself. I'm mourning my late nights. Okay, I must admit that I'm not mourning them yet because I haven't given them up yet. But I'm mourning the prospect. Fact. But I realized that it has only been 3 weeks. My 30 days haven't passed yet. I also haven't taken the time for the change.

So as I sat outside in my pjs, wrapped in blankets against the morning cold, looking out over the greenness, I saw as I haven't seen before. The light is different in the early morning. The birdsongs carry a different energy. The grass is wet. Flowers smile. The distractions are less. The world feels new. And I became mindful of the change. Yes, the mourning is great, but there is beauty to embrace as well.

Facing a change? Big? Small? Desired? Against your wishes? Give it time. Be mindful of your mourning and let it flow over you. Be mindful of the beauty and thank God for it. Be mindful of your heart and trust in your ability to face change. Make time for it and you'll find peace in it.

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