Posts Tagged ‘Time’

Mary Engelbreit

“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”  Mary Engelbreit, author, illustrator, and founder of The Mary Engelbreit Studios

Change!  What a scary word. Most of us claim to want it, but so few of us seem to be able to affect it. “I want to change my life!” we cry, only to fall back into the same old habits. They are comfortable, these old habits; they lull us into a sense of security. But change happens. (Does that remind you of another, similar phrase?) It goes on around us every moment of every day.

Change is often amazing and unbelievable to our senses. I remember one October, right about this time of year on Halloween weekend, I was living in Wisconsin not too far from Lake Superior. It was very cool—even cold—but with no snow yet. Then a huge storm blew in unexpectedly, and—overnight,while nobody was watching—there were several feet of snow on the ground, and the small but deep lake where we lived froze overnight. To me, this was a mind-boggling event. To have the whole lake frozen hard enough in just a few hours for the ice fishermen to be out the next day was practically unheard of. Yet, there they were! I guess it is true that seeing is believing.

Sometimes change gives the impression of being so quick that it seems instantaneous. Have you ever watched a flower open in slow motion photography? The changes the flower undergoes as it progresses from the tiniest sprout to a mature blossom are incredible to observe. Yet, when we see a flower in our garden we can only marvel at how just this morning that bud was hardly noticeable, and this evening it is in full bloom. To our eyes, because the flower’s transformation is so gradual, it’s blooming seems almost instantaneous, while in reality, it was a measured sequence of minuscule changes that resulted in total transformation.

“Change” and “time” seem to go together. I was discussing the concept of time the other day with a young woman in the dentist’s office. She mentioned that she was thinking “It’s only Wednesday!”, while I was thinking “It’s already Wednesday!” It seems like our perception of time itself can change, depending on our particular perspective.

For instance, do you remember an occasion when you ran into someone you had not seen for a long time? I attended a family reunion recently, and nieces and nephews who were just children the last time I saw them are now grown and have children of their own! How did this happen? How could these tiny tots have turned into adults overnight? My eyes could see the growth that occurred over time, but my mind found it hard to comprehend. It seemed like time had stopped for me when those children left my sight, and resumed the moment I saw them again.

Change comes hard to many people. I think it may be because change denotes a departure from the tried and true as well as the passing of time. Change can force you out of a particular comfort level into an area of uncertainty, and when it comes upon us unexpectedly, it can be all the more shocking, difficult, and even devastating.

Yet not all change is dreadful or unwanted. Sometimes we need change to make things better, like making little additions to a recipe, or getting a new hair cut. To me, though, the changes that seems the hardest are the changes we want immediately but that of necessity take a long time, like our economic recovery, or overhauling the health care system—or losing weight.

How change affect us is, after all, a matter of how we think about it, and how we think about anything is a matter of choice. The key to accepting or implementing change is to take it slow. Take the time to apply little changes rather than quick, drastic alterations so that change does not seem so overwhelming. Personally, I try to focus only on what makes me feel good from minute to minute—impossible as that seems. This way, I am better able to handle challenges as they come along by breaking them down to one moment at a time and focusing on what is good about a changing situation instead of what is troublesome, sad, or difficult.

We are always in control of our thoughts, so this is not an unreachable goal, just sometimes a difficult one.


This Old Crone

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”
Gail Sheehy, best-selling author of 16 books, including Passages and The Silent Passage.


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