The Thing About Change…


I absolutely thrive in routine and tend to fight change. That fight is exhausting.

I wear the same thing every day (aka “the uniform”) which is close to what I have been wearing my entire life. Jeans/Penn State short of sorts..and if it is not Penn State, it is likely to be that same Penn State navy color. I eat the same thing every day for lunch. My daily workout schedule rarely changes. The routine helps keep my busy life a little easier but it also has made change harder. (I hate messing up my routine)

2023 has been full of changes…some for the better and some not so much. Before my Thanksgiving trip back east to see family las week, I had a long conversation with a client (turned treasured friend) about my increasing fear of turbulence while flying. After asking me a few questions like she was a skilled behavior therapist, I came to the conclusion that my fear was not about the turbulence – it was a fear of change. The change from calm (and perceived control) to not calm (and absolutely no control). I was very excited to finally have a grasp on this new revelation as I was able to frame my fear differently on the plane as well as start to work on embracing change in other aspects of my life. I realized I needed to lessen the tight grip on my false sense of control and the change that would come from it.

My grandfather “Papa”
Wildly enough was not until today until I watched my 97 year grandfather go through a huge change (moving into assisted living) before I finally figured out that the real problem with change. Change itself is not the problem, it is fighting the change.

There was a lot of worry, stress, and concern over how my grandfather would accept he needed a little extra support/help. He never wanted to live anywhere except his own home and loved his independence. When the first mention of moving into assisted living came up he wanted nothing to do with it and fought it.

The fight caused even more stress, worry, and what you could call a lot of “life turbulence”. But yesterday, after he moved in, the fight was soon replaced with relief and he was content and a huge weight was lifted for all involved.

This all made me consider why I (like my grandfather) tend to try and put so much energy in fighting change vs. putting that same energy in finding a positive in the change. I am not saying you have to accept all change but whether we want to accept change or not is not always our choice. We do have a choice on how we deal with that change. I am going to try and focus my energy on the positives of the change and leave the fight for boxing.

Whether the turbulence caused from change is on a plane or in your life – you will get further in life by accepting it and focusing your energy on the positives vs. trying to fight something that is impossible to win against.

4 thoughts on “The Thing About Change…”

  1. Vickey Zelazny

    Oh, Jen, this is such a wonderful article! I love your parallels between you and Papa and how true those are! I am so proud of how Papa has handled this new life change so far. I realize there may be some bumps along the way, but he now understands that under the circumstances this is the best way of life for him and he might as well accept it. I am so happy you have learned from your “turbulence” and can now move forward with a much better understanding of it! Love you! Mom

  2. amy

    Love this.
    Focusing on the positive – such an important piece of handling what we perceive as hard things. I preach it to so many around me but do I live it? I am going to try.

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Papa’s Quilt

What do you get someone that is 97 and extremely important in your life? You give them something meaningful. This year for Christmas I made my grandfather his own handmade quilt.