We all have patterns we create to stay organized, manage the details of our life, to keep us focused and moving forward on what we think is important. As we move through the different phases of life these patterns adapt and change. Sometimes we change when we need to, sometimes we change when we want to, and other times we change when we are forced as there is no other option. Most of the time we hold on to the patterns as long as we can because we know them, they work, and as the saying goes, if it an’t broke don’t fix it. Our life is tied up in a neat little bow, a package we can handle day in and day out.
Then the moment arrives when something needs to change. What worked before doesn’t work anymore, or is leaving us behind the curve. We aren’t able to keep up with the rest of our world so we begin altering our standard patterns to navigate our new reality. When three or four worked, now we can only use one. Perhaps the person, place or thing we built things upon is no longer in the picture and we are forced to change. Maybe the constructs that existed before – clubs, games, teams, friends, faces, activities, jobs, commitments – have changed or moved or declined and we have to change to survive. So here we go figuring out what to do now that life is no longer tied together in the same pattern it was before.
Change is hard, change can be frustrating, change can be scary. There is the change that happens when we are pressured to alter due to some outside force; change is being done to us. Life changes and we must change to adapt and survive. When we are the object of change we may grouse or complain, yet when given no choice we change and adapt and take it is stride. Then there is the change we choose; change is being done by us. We want something different, we want new and fresh, we want to head in a different direction and that requires new skills or thoughts. When we are the agent of change, we want to initiate the change which can be harder; we have to fight ourselves, our patterns, our thoughts and ideas, and our old habits in order to go where we want. No one is forcing us so it can be easy to get lazy and fall back into the old patterns. When it doesn’t go the way we thought or planned it is easy to go back to the old patterns. No one is asking us to change but us, so who would know if we never change? It is easier to give up and give in to the old patterns. These are the moments to keep going, keep changing, knowing that what YOU want to change is important enough to make all the work and effort worth it.
Somewhere down the road, after time has passed and patterns have begun to change, we turn the corner and can ‘see’ the horizon. We see the results from our efforts, we see the brighter future, we see the end goal and now believe we can get there. The change is not quite complete yet we are headed in the right direction and momentum is now on our side. If we simply keep to our new patterns and work to forget the old ones, what we want is on the other side. Now we are making new patterns and living a new version of ourselves – better, smarter, faster thinner, wiser, kinder – a version we are proud to face in the mirror. Time to get out new string and tie up our new life into a new package, our new patterns into a neat little bow and sail on…until the next change comes our way, and the changing of patterns starts again.