Change Doesn’t Have To Be Painful

Change.

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.

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About Diana Murdock

California-grown, writer of contemporary and YA paranormal with enough energy to write, raise two boys, run, and dream.

Posted on September 16, 2011, in Family, Human, Personal, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Sometimes our lives and routines change so effortlessly, we don’t even notice until we look back. Hubby and I did the same thing as you this summer – last week we realized it was the first time in seven years we didn’t make it to our “special” beach – the one where he proposed. We both had a moment of “regret” but it quickly passed as we realized the reason we didn’t make it this summer was because we choose to spend this summer golfing more and finding beaches closer to home, which we did. Yes, there was a momentary pang of what we missed out but we also acknowledged all the gifts that change brought….that sort of soothed our souls!

  2. You are right that change is good. We are changing every day in organic and unseen ways. Yet it amazes me when I run into people who refuse to change in terms of things they can see and presumably control. Who dig their fists into the mud and hang on even in the face of being ridiculous. Change is growth, learning and life. Sitting on a rock not changing is like being alive in terms of physical function, but dead in every other way.

  3. It really is a blessing when change happens organically and later you notice. The things that matter, like your family, were constant. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  4. The only constant is change. Cliche? Yes. True? Yes again. I try my best to live without regret, because I see so many people wringing their hands about what they are either doing that they don’t like or not doing what they do like. We make decisions based upon the best information we have at the time. I’m glad you found peace in the fact that the change you had was good. I’m also pretty sure that if the regret was strong enough that you would have figured out a way to make sure it doesn’t happen again next year. Regardless, we’re all so busy that certain things slip away from us. The key is understanding when we realize what has happened to assess the situation and either let it go or get it back, depending on how important it is to us NOW, not in the past. Great post Diana.

  5. Change IS good…wonderful post, Diana 🙂

  6. Diana, what a beautiful celebration of change. Like it or not, it’s what drives life. At times we may barely notice and other times change hits us alike a runaway train. Sometimes we are the instigators of the change or it may be foisted upon us through mishap or fate. If ultimately we can accept and celebrate, as you have in this post, then our lives are truly enhanced.

  7. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos

    What a great way to embrace life. Change is always good, and can be exciting!!

  8. This seems to be the topic of the day! I am keenly aware of being in the midst of change right now. I am not so much resisting it as trying to stay in a calm center. Oddly, all of my changes are what people would call “good” – yet it still scares me. But I saw a quote the other day that said “Some people crawl through life hoping to make it to death,” – or something like that. That’s no way to do it! Thanks for the inspiration and the great post.

  9. For me change is good and often times scary, even the good changes. I think the changes that happen which are out of our control are scariest. I try to live life my to the fullest and to be grateful every single day. No regrets. I’m with you Diana! Thoughtful post. Thanks.

  10. How very sweet, Diana. Both of my boys graduate this year: the oldest from high school and the youngest from junior high. I juggle an 11 hour day job and this crazy attempt at a writing career. It could be a very easy thing for me to ignore my sons and “miss it” as they grow up and (all too-soon) out. Thanks for the reminder…

    -Jimmy

  11. This was so close to my heart. Change is the only inevitable thing in life that will happen no matter how much we try for it to stay away. Life will change, we will change and the way we perceive reality will change. The only prudent thing to do, perhaps, is to embrace it with wide open arms. And let it be.
    Loved this post.. 🙂

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