Adapting to Change

I need to go on record as saying that change is difficult for me. I enjoy my routines and knowing exactly how things are going to be. It’s the bane of the Garden Gnome’s life that I find it difficult to make decisions about a lot of things, preferring to go along with what everyone else wants to do (or eat). I’m happy to ride the middle road. (Maybe that’s a whole other issue there).
Yet, I’m learning that the only constant is change.
Life has this habit of twisting and turning in ways that you don’t see coming.
I spend my days with beautiful individuals that are dealing with change as they age. They are not only seeing the changes that are occurring with society and technology, they are dealing with changes within themselves. Each day they battle (and it is a battle) with losing their independence and relying more upon others for the little things that they used to be able to handle on their own. Little things that we take for granted; such as walking, opening jars, cutting up food, doing up a seat belt, negotiating steps, driving a car and showering. I regularly hear comments such as “I miss driving my little blue car” or “I hate being like this”.
Part of my role is assisting these wonderful people with adapting to their change and easing the impact that it has upon them which is ironic considering my own avoidance of change.
Yet, I am learning to change my thinking. Change is always occurring – at work and at home. At a moment’s notice everything can go pear shaped.
Take yesterday for example.

It was a routine outing for my group. One that we go on every month. Yet, one of my clients fell ill. Change #1 to the day.
We adapted. I dealt with it and the client went home that afternoon in a more comfortable state.
I continued my routine day. Went into a meeting and was about to go into another meeting when the manager asked me to tidy my desk. I went to my desk, picked up my telephone and noticed 3 missed calls from the Son and the DIL. I called The Son, discovered that all was not right in his world at that particular moment and he required my assistance. Change #2.
I went to pick up my DIL to drive to my son and on the way we hit peak hour traffic…. in the rain…. Change #3.
Calling the Garden Gnome to let him know what was happening, he quickly told me that he was on the way to pick up the Rugrats as my lovely  First Born was assisting my beautiful daughter-of-my-heart and couldn’t get to the school to pick up the kids. The Rugrats were coming home to our place until my daughter was able to leave to come and get them. Change #4
After dealing with city peak hour traffic (can I just say that I love living in the country), I arrived back in town, picked up the Teen from dance and returned home to be met by my Grandson standing in the driveway proudly informing me that now he is at school, he has learned to read. I had time to take off my shoes and then I was settled onto the couch and listening to him read and do his homework. Change #5

Wow! Yet I got through it all and survived in one piece.
Here I sit this morning, ready to face another day.
I will go forth and reassure and assist those facing change in their lives and in doing so learn lessons for dealing with change in my own.
Maybe I am learning to live up to Charles Darwin’s expectations.

Here’s to change and adaptation!

28 thoughts on “Adapting to Change

  1. My experience in life has helped me adopt a few mechanisms for dealing with change Suz. I think the activity that best informed change in my life was the transport scheduling and dispatching i did. It was funny, I was doing a Master’s degree while working and our Statistics prof asked the class how many had done or were doing scheduling and two of us raised our hands. He said: What you guys do regularly is far more complex than anything we’ll cover here.And so it is with your personal scheduling and change Suz – it is very complex. I dispatched (among many) fuel tankers. Our contract made us responsible for the gas levels at many of our customer’s facilities.So three times a day we got inventory information from each site (around 200 sites we controlled) and we had to dispatch trucks so that no one ran out. We did retail gas stations, commercial truck stops, industrial heating plants and facilities. Some facilities were close within the city and some were as far as 1200 kms away.Anyway, there were oodles of details and special cases BUT there was always some repetition.

    You will be happy to know Suz that even in the chaos of our daily operations,, there were always patterns and repeated actions. We would, like you, always start our day by singling out those patterns and using them to establish a base on which we would build the dispatch as the day evolved. Occasionally the base would have to be changed but we assumed it was there and always used it as a sort of touchstone to build on. For instance we had truck stops that took a minimum of two tanker loads of diesel per day. Those loads would be assigned trucks and drivers first. Then we had customers who took loads twice a week, and they would be added to the schedule. There were customers who had large storage and we would haul in there whenever we could – these we would save to fill in at the end. Then we went to inventories and sell-throughs and decided which customers needed loads based on their sales and inventory. We always tried to keep at least one or two tankers free or doing loads that could be dropped – these would be used to take care of emergencies that popped up during the day (inevitably out of the 200, one or more customers would be reporting wrong info due to equipment failure or things like the site getting hit by lightning or flooded or mechanical problems or unusual sales). At the end of the dispatch we would fill in customers who had the big storage and we used to create loads when we needed them. We also added long term contracts = for instance we sometimes were tasked to haul say 200 loads from one fuel terminal to another in a time period of two weeks.

    To sum it all up Suz, there will always remain unchained activities in your life. You can successfully schedule the changes around the unchanged to keep some semblance of order and repetition It does not mean abandoning habits, in fact it means relying on them to establish a framework to fit the changes into. .So, don’t fret – change really isn’t about throwing out your old ways, it means finding flexibility around the basic activities – a much easier task than changing everything.

    Best of Luck! You’ll do fine.

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  2. yes Sis did soak away the day in a bath ? remember tomorrow could be better or worse .just wake up tomorrow above the ground and the world will be a happy place .love u

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  3. I think age lends a lot towards acceptance of change Suz. It’s the realisation that wee may still not like it but that we can’t control it that irks. Since we can’t control it, I found it much easier just to accept it and carry on hoping the rest of the day will at least be normal and even predictable. Sometimes I just tell myself I like the change and would have chosen it if I’d thought of it first, obviously not when the change is someone being ill of course.
    Like me, you’re big enough to cope with change now Suz and less and less can throw us as we learn to roll with the changes.
    Keep well and above all keep happy,
    xxx Sending you Humongous Hugs xxx

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    1. Yes age assists with the acceptance David but a lot of my days are spent with the aged who have difficulty with it as well. Life would be so much simpler if things just always went our way lol

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  4. Oh, I used to be such a strict follower of a plan. No diversions or it would make me crazy–in a good way. 🙂 It took a lot of work and I guess the three kids taught me we have to be flexible. I’m still working on being flexible but it has taken me many years to do this, since I spent my whole life planning.

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  5. It’s so nice to see you on the grid again, even though it’s probably short-lived. It seems obvious to me that your emotional wounds are healing well. Of course, they’re probably still fragile, and that may not change. From what you’ve written here, it appears you’ve found a passion for this type of work. Marvelous, to say the least. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m hoping that it won’t be short lived Glynis. I’m trying to stay on the grid a bit better than I was before.
      I’m working on healing the wounds. It takes time though.
      Thank you for your kind words. Much love to you.


  6. Great article and discussion. Funny too, all the changes in a given day. As for losing independence as we get older, you really made me think…I need to appreciate this time in my life, little things like driving my car. Good for you for comforting and helping.

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