Change Doesn’t Have To Be Painful
Sometimes it’ll hit you like a freight train, sometimes it will just slide on by like the scenery outside the window as we drive from one milestone of our lives to the next. Sometimes you see it coming a mile away and you prepare for it. Whatever way it happens, the realization that change had actually come about might have us stepping back and looking around.
I’m usually oblivious to change until it has long passed me by. Last week on a drive to the waste management station (aka “the dump,”) it hit me. Change had happened, and in my attempt to just go with the flow, I missed the beginning and found myself smack in the midst of it.
“Look, buddy,” I’d said to my son. “How pretty is that?” The road to the local dump runs along the shore of a beautiful bay, a smooth-rock beach that we used to hang out at everyday during the summer.
“We haven’t been there all year!” my son said.
He was absolutely right. Summer here in north Idaho has come and gone and we’d never even been down this way.
I love this bay. Not only because it is a short two miles from our house, but even on the hottest holiday weekend, we could always put down our towels with plenty of personal space between us and the other locals. On this particular day, the sun was dropping tiny diamonds on the water’s surface and there wasn’t a sunbather, dog, or child in sight. The shoreline called – no screamed – for me to pull over and enjoy what we once shared. Or maybe it was my son who screamed that.
Instead, I playfully waved to the water, trying to make light of the regret that pushed my foot down on the gas pedal. Must. Move. On. Do Not. Look. Back. It was the only way to stop from kicking myself for the days we will never get back.
But as I drove up the dusty road to the trash depot, I remembered why we didn’t hang out at the bay anymore. It wasn’t because I was neglectful or too busy to take the time to play. It was because life had changed from one month to the next. For the last five years I’d worked from my house and I always made sure I’d finished my work before school let out. The boys took the bus home and, with the afternoon free, we went for hikes or hung out at the lake almost everyday.
This year my work and the boys’ social, school, and sports activities took us into town six days a week, so the bay had to be left behind. We shifted strategy and hung out at the lake in town, rode our bikes down different paths, ate out more, and because of this change, we found different ways to play and other activities to fill our afternoons.
But none of us had even noticed the shift. Our situation took a detour and we just followed the signs. Now, had I taken the trash to another facility, the one that we normally go to, we wouldn’t have seen the bay and never would have missed it at all. We were too busy going with the flow to notice. So, yeah. With my oldest graduating in two more years and with my youngest following in his footsteps, there are going to be plenty of changes for all of us. We’ll breathe it in, adjust our course, and love every minute. And there will be no regrets.
Because change is good.
Because life is good.
Posted on September 16, 2011, in Family, Human, Personal, Relationships and tagged bay, change, detour, Diana Murdock, Diana Murdock's blog, family, flow, fun, regret, summer. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.