I’m not very good at change. Change is hard for me. Very hard.
Twenty years ago when my mobile phone slid off the console in my car and into my cup of coffee, I went to the store to get another one. Wait, did I type “mobile phone?” Yes, I did because twenty years ago that is what they were called. They were phones to use when we were mobile. No one understood what a cell was back then.
Anyway, when the young guy helping me opened my phone and coffee spilled out onto the counter, he told me I needed a new one. He rapidly punched some keys on his computer, nodded his head and then handed me a tiny, red phone. It was about 2×3 inches. I gasped. Pushed the phone back towards him and said, “Oh, no! I need a bigger phone. That is too small!”
The young man physically recoiled at my words because back in the day before phones grew to the size of iPads, a tiny phone was preferred. He stood there blinking his eyes – probably waiting for me to come to my senses – before gathering himself after my shocking response. He gestured at the glass display case between us, “Uh, we don’t have any phones as big as yours. They don’t make them that big anymore. Everyone wants these small phones.”
I walked out of the store with my little red, flip cell phone. Change.
I could tell you the story of the fit change caused me to throw on my one-year wedding anniversary. The restaurant we wanted to go to for our big celebration was closed so we ended up at Olive Garden. We were too young and poor to know most nice restaurants are often closed on Mondays. I had a plan and didn’t want it changed so I sat in the car and pouted as my husband stood helpless next to the car waiting for me to get out. I was a brat, I know. Eventually, we I got out but I wasn’t happy. (Okay, I did tell you the story.)
Then there was the first night in our new home where I laid in bed crying. My bewildered husband’s bewilderment grew when I told him I missed our old house. Our growing family was crowded in our old house and our new house allowed each girl to have their own room and a playroom that didn’t double as a living room. My husband tried to point out the benefits of the new house and I replied with, “But the old house is where I brought my babies home.”
One more adverse to change story and then I’ll get to the point. During Covid, my 25-year-old washing machine broke. I had replaced parts several times but it was time for a new one. My #1 on the Enneagram husband spent HOURS and HOURS researching the BEST washer and dryer known to man. They were white, bright and I swear they sparkled. BUT, the washing machine did not have an agitator and didn’t seem to use enough water. I thought all washing machines had to have an agitator to get the clothes clean but the “review people” said it wasn’t so. The top of the washing machine was clear so I peered in to see how much swishing was happening. Not much, yet my family swore their clothes smelt and felt the cleanest they have ever been. Impossible without an agitator, I thought. One night, I called the whole family in to witness the washing process. With everyone peering in for a solid 10 minutes, I finally saw the clothes go from top to bottom and bottom to top. Whew! Agitation without an agitator.
You might be thinking I am completely bonkers. Shouldn’t we all want the latest, greatest new phone, the bigger house and new appliances? Isn’t all lasagna basically the same?
Change is change and, for me, change is hard.
I recently spent a whole week immersed in change and I survived so I guess you can teach an old dog a new trick. (No comments about old or dogs, please. 🙂 )
This past year we have all been hit in the face – and some have been knocked on their hineys – by change. My world changed from me being home 95% of the time with just my dogs. When the world stopped for “15 days,” my husband’s travel was grounded and two of my 3 girls came home – and one brought a friend. My days of loneliness (that I didn’t know had been lonely) were all of a sudden filled with people fighting for bandwidth and wanting to eat – often more than once a day. My evenings were suddenly filled with family dinners that our hectic schedules when we were raising the girls didn’t allow. And then we played games, binged on Netflix, worked puzzles and went for walks.
During this past year, people realized they didn’t need to keep the pace they had been keeping. Businesses learned “work from home” was a viable option to keep their companies running. Big and small churches went online. Couples realized a small wedding enhanced the true meaning of getting married. We learned new ways to do a lot of things.
We also learned we missed one another. We learned how important connection is.
Change. It can be good or bad. Our family chose to take the potential bad change Covid crashed down on us and look for the good. We relished the time together.
One thing that did not change this past year is Jesus and my need for Him. He is my solid rock. He offers guidance in times of uncertainty, strength when we are weary, comfort in the face of fear and love in all things.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my Savior; my God, my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. Psalms 18:2 NLT
As we get back to “normal,” I will be fighting against change. Not just because I am change adverse but because I want some of the changes this year brought to stay. I want to have more time with my husband. I want to value my time with friends and family – because now I know it could end tomorrow by no fault of our own. I want to stop and work the puzzle, go for the walk, listen to the birds and, of course, always have a stockpile of toilet paper and sanitizer.
How about you? Is change hard for you? What are some good changes this past year brought that you want to make permanent?