QOTD – 9/29/20
Let’s talk about change. Changes can be hard on individuals, couples, and families. I’m talking about major life changes like employment, moving, kids growing up and leaving, etc.
Do you adapt well to changes in your life and circumstance? What kinds of things do you do to try to offset the stress and anxiety?
Naturally I resist rapid change. I like growth and progress, both of which include change. But rapid change or change by outside forces imposed upon me are more difficult or take longer to accept.
However over the decades there have been many instances of the latter, so I have adapted to more rapid changes. What I do is keep my eyes on some of the constants in the world of change – Jesus, God’s Word, DW’s love for me, etc.
As a young teenager I realized that there were things I would never control (choices others made which effected my life) and things that I could control (how hard I worked, vocational choices, what I ingested, whose opinions and advice I should care about – and whose I shouldn’t). When I started focusing on the latter, life became much more manageable for me as a young adult. And my DW was a blessing of stability in what seemed otherwise to be chaos. I think a person’s ability to deal with or even initiate change is partly a function of their “starting place” into adulthood.. . by starting place I mean how much security they had when growing up and how much they consciously or unconsciously believed that they could “take for granted.”
Our base line was pretty low so, much like Lucky in Love, change for us as young marrieds was almost always an improvement from where we were before. I still feel rich if I have $20 in my pocket. I also think that having a paradigm that “life itself is an adventure” is especially helpful in accepting change, even embracing it. Once I got serious about my faith and really believed that God loved me and wanted me, my marriage, and family to “make it” the “adventure” took on an eternal dimension that makes every step (and misstep) meaningful.
I didn’t know the word “providence” back then but God was faithful and always “had my back” and DW’s love and trust in my judgment (and forgiveness when I blew it) emboldened me to take reasonable chances all through life.
This article says it better than I can https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/5-reasons-to-step-out-in-faith.aspx
I enjoy comfort and predictability so I’m not a fan of it, even though recognizing and leading change is part of my job. While I can get excited about certain changes, change can take a lot of emotionally energy out of me and that can wipe me out, even good/enjoyable change.
I actually like change; I think it recharges me. I like variety, I like knowing that from day to day, and in some cases, hour by hour, I don’t know what’s coming next. I work best under stress and pressure. I think it comes from my military experience and combat background. I’m usually the most calm with the sky is falling, rounds are flying by, people are yelling and screaming, and everything seems to be out of control. Our 20 yr old is contemplating moving out on her own. I’m excited for her, but my wife is frantic.
I’ve always been excited about change because I see all the things you listed as positives. Maybe because in my life, they were all improvements? Moving into a better apartment or house. A job that I liked more. My kids becoming independent.
I do not respond well to change. With the massive amount of change in our lives recently, I find myself even quicker to anger than usual. I’m having to force myself to breathe before I speak. Probably related to the anger issue, I am having a hard time understanding the logic of those around me, especially my kids (do teenagers have any logic?). In the bedroom, I experienced ED and a, thankfully short term loss of desire for sex.
Oddly, the thing that has helped me overcome the anxiety the most has been to follow my wifes lead in organizing life. I have found projects, not difficult in a new home, and I started using checklists to follow in order to complete those projects. More than anything, that organization has helped me settle in to life again, and given me time to breathe. That time, has given me opportunities in between projects to reconnect with my libido and gotten our MB back in order.
In general, I am not a person who likes change. Those major changes you talk about, for the most part, I believe I adapt well. I am not a thriver on change, I am a survivor through it. 😉 I do what I need to do to get through it and to settle into normalcy again. I probably get a little edgier and more irritable, in it.
Personally, I have found that God prepares us for those major changes. He makes us more uncomfortable where we are ahead of time, that by the time the change is before us, we are ready for it. I am not sure how common that is among believers? But it is very consistant with us and I have seen it with my children. Maybe it’s the way we pray?
Change is often difficult, more so for some. Also depends on the status quo and your feelings about it. Even then, there is often the fear of the unknown. Faith is the antidote to fear. Not that faith completely removes fear, but it can keep fear from being an anchor. It’s like I have heard before – the one thing that separates the hero from the coward is not fear, they both have it, but the hero does not allow it to control him.
So some changes I adapt well to, others not so much. Oftentimes I avoid changes even if I know it is most likely better for me. It is in those where a lack of faith presents itself. When Jesus says “care not” or “do not worry” he means to simply have faith. I believe Abraham was probably trepidatious about taking off to some unknown land – but he packed up anyway. His faith was greater than his fears.
My work has taken us all over the place, and has taken me away for many extended trips. So, we have moved many times, and I used to be away more than I was home.
Overall, it did more good, than anything bad, like stress or whatever.
As far as our sex life, we both agree that it made it even better! Those days right after I did get back home again, made us play the ‘catch-up’ game!