Change. Good or bad, it’s going to happen in your life. Probably more than you want it to. I know it has in my life. This time, though, I chose to change directions. Changing direction is scary, hard, emotional, and much more.
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The Only Constant In Life Is Change. ~Heraclitus
I stepped down from the leadership role I’ve had for the past seven years. *deep breath* It’s scary. And it wasn’t a wise move, economically. Nor did it win me any favors at the day job. Surprised my boss and my husband. But emotionally? What a relief!
Don’t get me wrong, I liked my day job. I am proud of the department I helped grow from infancy to adolescence. And I’m grateful that I am able to continue to work in that department.
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. ~Lao Tzu
Why did I do this? Because the direction my life was heading, while a worthy and nice direction, wasn’t where I want to be. My day job consumed time, creativity, and energy. It left me struggling to squeeze in time for writing. So I stepped down to a less demanding role.
Change one thing and everything changes.
My co-workers are my former employees. The new person in my job, a former employee, is now my boss. And she is already making changes. Some of them I like. Some of them not so much. I’m trying to hold my peace, to give her the time and space to do what she needs to do.
And I’m not the only one whose life has been impacted by this change.
Over the past seven years, DH has developed habits based on knowing that I won’t be home until after 7 p.m. Now I get home on time . . . EVERY night. DH, being self-employed and working from home, finds my change has thrown off his work schedule. It’s changed our dinner time. Dinner used to be at eight, or later. Now, I’m hungry when I get home. Who knew?
My dogs have to get used to this change, too. Their dinner time and routine has been disrupted. Change makes Cosmo anxious. Instead of going straight to his crate when he comes in, he has to race to see if I’m home, then returns to his crate. Then, he can’t decide if he should sit with dad or mom.
Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. ~Arnold Bennett
Blogging about this change is scary. It means I have to follow through with focusing on my writing more. I have to produce more words. Yikes! My word and story production has been so low for the past seven years, I worry maybe I can’t produce words any faster. Even though I am already seeing positive results from having less stress and more time, I’m worried. Illogical, I know.
But change does that. It upsets your world, your thinking, your emotions for a time. I know a lot of you, my readers, are experiencing a change in your own lives. Some good changes. Some changes may be more difficult.
10 Ways to Decrease the Stress of Change
If you find the changes in your life overwhelming or scary, there are things you can do to try to ease the stress. Here are a few things to try:
- Sit in a hot bath with your favorite aromatic oil, add bubbles if you like.
- Put on the headphones and listen to your favorite music.
- Crank the stereo up and dance.
- Sing in the shower.
- Take a long walk along your favorite path. I love walking near water.
- Treat yourself: get a massage, a manicure, a night out.
- Remember a time when you faced a change successfully. Can you employ some of the things you did then to this change?
- If you’re feeling particularly stressed, take a 30-second break to do some deep breathing. Close your eyes and think about the act of breathing. Take a long, slow breath in through your nose and blow it out through your mouth. As you blow out, imagine that you are releasing the tension that you feel. Bet you feel at least a little better when you finish.
- Finally, find your ‘island of stability.’ For example, if your job has changed, find comfort and stability in your relationships. If there’s been a change in a relationship, find comfort and stability in a particular location or with a particular activity.
Even though this change of direction in my life is something I wanted. It is still stressful. So I’m going find my ‘island of stability.’ For me, that’s sitting on the sofa with DH and the dogs, cuddling. From my ‘island of stability’ I feel confident that we can all weather my decision to change directions.
Wonderful post, Lynette, and congratulations! Change is hard, but what has carried me through ten years as a Navy wife, plus many moves and life changes after that, is looking forward to the adventure. Something new, something exciting, something I didn’t get to do before. You’ll do great, your DH and dogs will do great, and we’ll look forward to more of your writing!
Thanks, Jennifer. You are right, looking forward to the adventure definitely helps. I haven’t found a new routine yet, but I will. That’s one of the things about change. It takes some time. 🙂
The only time I’ve initiated such a change in my life, it wound up being such an improvement, it was easy for me to adjust – I went from a deadend job in graphic design to one I loved in software development, where I could work at home. It was more a matter of training others that even if I was at home, I was still “at work.” Congrats on making your change!
I can see that others need to be trained that you were still ‘at work.’ I am fortunate that my husband totally gets ‘working from home.’ I am glad you found a job better suited to you. I’m really liking the change in my job. Now I have to develop the habits that will take my writing forward. 🙂
congratulations. I’ve done the same thing a couple of times and have never regretted my decision. (leaving a 30 year marriage while unemployed was probably my biggest, riskiest ever choice.) But they’ve all worked out and I’ve felt better and been better for the choices I made. keep us posted on the writing – sometimes it helps to have others in the know about your plans and progress.
I am not regretting my decision, either. I’m excited to be able to do this. And I’m giving myself a month to adjust, to make a plan. Thanks for the encouragement, Louise.
I sense relief and joy in this post, Lynette. I know from earlier posts how important your day-job work is, but you’ve found a way to continue doing it without allowing it to take all your energy. Happy re-visioning your life.
Thanks, Pat. You got it. I am re-visioning my life. 🙂
Wow. Be proud of yourself. Big changes take courage. I can derby your comments here that you are already feeling relieved. And everyone in your household will adjust. When the woman of the household is happier, things begin to fall in ace. I am so glad you’ll have more time to write.
I recently commuted to a big change. Moving from full time artist to writer. I am happy, really happy about the possibilities. I know you will embrace your possibilities too . Looking forward to reading your blog more.
So nice to see you here, Deb! Yes. Big changes. I am delighted with the change. So is DH, he’s just having a little trouble with timing. 🙂
I tend to change direction quite a bit in my life. I love your tips for dealing with the stress and uncertainty that comes with change. Walking is definitely one of my favorites, as well as listening to music. Congrats on making the changes in your life. It’s scary at first, but it sounds like you’ll be glad for it once you (and your family) adjust.
Thanks, Alana. We’re adjusting quite nicely. And oh, boy does it make a difference! I finally feel like I’m making progress on some writing goals!