When I Grow Up

A New Year, A New Phrase

When you're finished changing, you're finished. - Benjamin Franklin

Many people start the year off with a new word or catch phrase to represent their goals. The past few years, I have allowed this word or phrase to find me which has generally happened a few weeks or a month or so into the year. This year, it came to me early. It’s about change. Change is inevitable; we can’t stop it, we can only choose how to respond to it.

If parenting taught me anything, it is that mapping out the future is futile. No matter how carefully you plan, things sometimes change. (This is not to say planning is a bad idea, but I’ve learned to be flexible as things don’t always work out the way you expect.) I’ve decided that this year I will be Embracing Change.

I already know that this year will be one of great change for me, starting this month as one of my children is getting ready to leave home for a job out of state. (And I suspect there will be soon more than one empty bedroom in our home.) I am making plans to try new things and to travel more, both for work and to spend time with family. I have new and challenging prospects coming up that may create a new path in my career. Rather than fighting it all, I’ve decided to enjoy the ride or with the inevitable tough changes, make the best of things.

Last year held both good and bad changes. Though I had some disappointments, career-wise things were mostly good. On the personal side, we celebrated college graduations and I spent more time with my parents than I have in a long time. On the negative side, I lost someone I dearly loved. Though it seemed impossible before, fractured relationships became further strained. I’ve learned to accept that some things are outside my control; I can’t dictate the choices others make.

Moving forward, in this new year and decade, I’m choosing to note lessons learned and move forward rather than dwell on the past. I’m choosing to face change head on, making adjustments and pushing back when necessary to up the odds of achieving the best possible outcome. I’m choosing to learn and grow, to become a better person than I am today. Though change is inevitable, I don’t have to sit back and let it happen, I can be an active participant, moving forward, no matter what life brings.

This year, I’m embracing change. Anyone want to join me?