Friday, July 26, 2013

Change--Do You Avoid It, or Embrace It? By Roz Denny Fox

I started thinking about this subject the other day when it came to me that while I used to always sat change meant growth and I looked forward to ne ideas and new things, now I more like my life to remain status quo.  I decided it must be age. But I don't want to get so set in my ways that other people see me as difficult. I remember working with some people who didn't want anyone touching a single things on their desks which they had arranged exactly as they liked it. So, I did some side research on the subject of change.
In a copy of Scientific American, Nikolas Westerhoff says personalities can continue to change in middle and old age, but openness to new experiences gradually decline to around age 60 when luckily "some" people become more open again.  Hey, there's hope for me digging out of my rut.
In Psychology Today, Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy D, who wrote "high Octane Women" has an article about change being hard, but the article tells why people should keep trying.  She's really talking about making behavioral changes.  But she does indicate you should always have a Plan B handy if Plan A goes awry.
What got me thinking about this whole subject was when I had to get a new computer tower.  It sounds simple, but really caused me great stress. First the cables from the old tower didn't match the spots to connect with the new one. It took me 2 trips back to the store. Then the new system didn't come with Outlook Express, so I had to buy a new Microsoft program that included a new, updated version of Word along with it. Office 2010 was quite different than Office 2013, including Word. I liked the old version, and was comfortable with it. Also Windows 8 comes with tiles that are supposed to go with a touch screen which I didn't buy.  Lastly the new system wouldn't talk to my high speed black and white printer that I loved. I spent weeks searching for a new printer. I finally did get one, but still like the old one better.
In the middle of this the place where we've always held our RWA meetings closed. Our next meeting this Saturday has to be at a new place. We only just found one. I liked the old place. I knew how to get there and how long to allow. I think you may be seeing a bit of why I am resisting change.

Back to what Ms. Bourg Carter suggests to help relieve stress attached to change:
    The change needs to be self-motivated
    Make sure you think positively instead of out of regret
    Set specific goals, but limit them to a manageable number
    Develop a realistic plan to accomplish the change
    Spend time with other people who accept change easily

And you need patience and persistence. I decided that's where I'm falling down in this arena of acceptance. I'm impatient and too ready to throw up my hands and give up totally.  Knowing this, I'm making progress learning the new functions of my computer programs.  It makes a difference if you don't have a choice to go back to the old way.  When it comes to accepting a new meeting place, I'll have to keep an open mind.  I've decided to tell myself we all need to shake up our lives to not fall into a rut.  I want to get back to being the person who thought change was good. How do you accept change in your life?

31 comments:

  1. Roz, I love your posts. I can empathize with what you're going through with your computer because I came home from Nationals only to find that our main computer (the one the kids use in the kitchen) was dead. I've spent the entire week dealing with the situation. The computer store we go to is over an hour away for one thing...and they forgot to tell us the monitor we got has no speakers. Sigh. Then, like you said, I'm dealing with windows 8, programs we no longer have etc...

    I don't mind change if it revolves around things I'm comfortable enough with to feel like I'm not losing control. Does that make sense? Computers don't fall in that category LOL. I want it up, running and no problems, otherwise stress sets in.

    I think that sense of control making change easier to handle is where the 'change needs to be self-motivated' comes in. The decision to make or accept change puts a person in control (at least to an extent).

    With my home, I like to be the one making changes, whether to routine or decor, because it's the one place (my fortress of solitude according to my Superman loving kids) I can decompress and feel in control in a world where change is a fact of life.

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    1. Rula, I'm so glad we can commiserate over Windows 8. I made the move from XP and while I don't have to drive an hour to my computer store, I've found they don't know as much about the new system as they should. I had them transfer a lot of my programs over. I just discovered they didn't transfer Word Perfect which is where all of my label lists were set up. While I have the lists, Word makes them all wonky. Control. That's what we need.

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  2. I think the most important key is listed first in your post.

    Change has to be self motivated. Even if you're a bit scared to do it, if there are positive reasons to do it and you REALLY want to do it, it won't be so bad. As an example is my move to Florida. After a very happy 16 years in Houston, I was motivated to move because my oldest son and his family lived a thousand miles away. So I went and am now very happy here.

    Great topic. Think I'll use it myself!

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    1. Linda, I am glad to hear the move was good for you. I had another friend who moved to be nearer her children and her son got a great job opportunity many miles away and took it. So she's back to not being near them and in a new place for her.

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  3. Roz - Change of anything is a tricky adjustment and the more mature we get, the trickier it is. I've never been good with technical stuff - Ron was always the one to learn the new computer then teach me its quirks so I could use it. Now that he doesn't see very well, can't use his fingers, I have to figure those things out. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. We have a great local guy who'll come to your house and is reasonable. My life is such a change from even three years ago, that I'm forced to be prepared every day for something new. I try to stay positive and trust in Providence.

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    1. Muriel, You are really lucky to have a good tech person who comes to the house and is reasonable. The two I've had are so techie that they talked over my head. (sigh)

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  4. Hi Roz! I'm home after being on the road for all but ten days this month and so happy to not have to repack my suitcase and change hotel rooms... in other words, to have the stability of home! I have a hard time embracing change, even when what I have isn't the best because it is what I know. Maybe I'm just a chicken. But by nature, I prefer to keep things stable and I would also get flummoxed by a change in RWA meeting spots and the like... but change is a part of life, no matter how much I try avoiding it! Thanks for this terrific post :)

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    1. Karen, There truly is no place like home. I think all women are nesters by nature. I assume your trip was for your book etc. I did get a copy. Haven't read it yet, but it's coming up on my TBR stack. Yay

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  5. Roz, I'm SO with you on resisting change -- I wish things would just stay the same all the time!

    But the best argument I've ever heard in favor of change was from, of all things, the TV show about Angel (Buffy the Vampire Slayer's vampire boyfriend). His buddy, an opera-singing demon, sang some gorgeous note and held it...held it...kept holding the same note...holding...holding...then said, "Without change, there's no music."

    Even so, I like the advice of hanging out with people who embrace change. Wonder where they all ARE, anyway!

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    1. Laurie, that is an interesting concept about music having only one note without change. In your work in advertising, you must have to thrive on some aspect of change. I have decided change comes upon us whether or not we're accepting of it.

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  6. Hi Roz,
    What great timing on this post-I got back from RWA just to find a letter stating that my son's daycare is closing TODAY! I had less than a week to find a new location for him. I hate the idea of starting over with new teachers, new friends-I know the transition will be tough on him, so I've placed him where another of his friends was going as well. Hopefully, this will help him adjust better, and kids are so flexible-I suspect I'll find the change hardest with regards to pick up/drop off and scheduling etc...but as usual-we will make it work:)

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  7. Jen, that's exactly the type of change that can so throw a person off. I think you were right to pick a place where he will have a known friend. And probably "Mom" will have a more difficult transition than will your son. It's a built-in gene I'm certain.

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  8. Roz, I think dealing with technology that doesn't work the way you want it to (or think it should) brings its own stress, period. (At least it does for me!) Change is all about getting out and staying out of your comfort zone. It's probably the hardest thing to do, but it also can be the most rewarding. And you won't know until you try, right? :)

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  9. Cindy, So true. The ever changing swiftness of technology may be the most difficult change for those of us who didn't grow up with an iPod or other device in our hand.

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  10. What a great post. I love the concepts from Ms BC:

    I deal with computer hinkiness in two ways - I have a good shop down the road and figure that's a good use of my money (we're pretty rural so I'm pretty lucky) and I remind myself a lot that computers are set up so that there are a lot of ways to get to the same (or a similar) result. Right now I have three computers with three different operating systems running. I've decided to consider that my flexibility training. I have noticed though that I have some resistance to smart phones and tablets... other folks love them, and someday perhaps I will too. When I hit resistance I remind myself that I used to think FAX was the limit of my technological proficiency, and I was wrong about that.

    Only thing to add I guess is that it's not our job to remember all that stuff - someone else has it or someone has it written down somewhere... if we can't remember it it's not because of age, it's because we are "making room for wisdom".

    Some days I remind myself of that, a lot.

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    1. Kathy, I'm in awe of you having 3 computers all running different systems. It would boggle my mind. I am definitely a creature of habit.

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  11. Hi Roz! I can't say I *love* change, but I happily accept it. Without it I'd be bored to tears. Not in the actual moment I'm trying to learn something new (hello, Facebook!) (hello, Twitter!) (hello, WordPress!), but afterward, once the mission is accomplished, it's exhilarating. Did I say *accomplished*??? Maybe I shouldn't phrase it that way. *Ongoing battle to keep nose above water* is more accurate! (Hi, Muriel...Ginger waving.)

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    1. Ginger, A ha! That's what I used to always say that change kept me from being bored. Gosh, so is it that now I like boredom?
      Did you go to National? If not will you make San Antonio? I'd love to catch up again.

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    2. Hi, Ginger! (Muriel, waving back!) Was talking to Ron about getting well enough to go to San Antonio next year. We're going to try!

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    3. Hooray, we can have an oldies but goodies get together on the River Walk. Will keep fingers crossed.

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  12. Change is interesting. It can give us an opportunity to grow and experience something new. In this way change can keep us "fresh." On the other hand, just because we can change doesn't mean we should...there are times a typewriter works better than a computer.

    Emotionally change can be difficult unless we accept the change as a positive. Of course, there are times when we have to change whether we wish to or not. In cases like this, someone usually has to drag me kicking and screaming!

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  13. Rose, You are right on about maybe not changing just because we can. There's a lot to be said for tried and true. Ha ha---it's the kicking and screaming into change that I'm trying to avoid now.

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  14. Roz, I'm not a fan of change but I'd like to think that I can adapt when I need to. And there are times when things do change that I have a better life after, but it takes me a while to reboot my routine.

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    1. Syndi, I think that's the mindset a body needs to keep. Don't necessarily love change, but able to adapt when you need to.

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  15. Roz, what an incredible well thought out post!!I'm trying to figure out a new tablet and I know computer stuff can be just daunting!

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  16. Aimee, I'm such a creature of habit I've decided. The tech world is racing by so fast. I'll probably never catch up.

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  17. I guess I don't like changes, unless they are gradual or necessary. Great post, Roz. I really enjoyed reading it.

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    1. Gail, We writers probably all like to stay hidden behind our computers and are content to let the world go by.

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  18. What a great post! As usual, I saw myself in it. Although I love new things, I DO want the change to be self-motivated and not forced on me. And I never much like change just for the sake of change (i.e. new math).

    You've made me think, Roz. I love that!

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    1. Liz, You are so right about having to accept changes someone else dictates being more difficult. The way you feel about New Math is how I feel about all of the upgrades to computer programs and places like Facebook. Someone seems to think we need new and improved. LOL

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  19. Roz,
    I like change when it works. When you're computer something or other gets updated, it should be easier. But, often it isn't.

    And, I loved the RWA meeting place. I'm soooo sad it closed.

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