Change is a Lot Like Wallpapering

About a week ago I started changing the walls in one of our rooms. It means taking down all the photographs and artwork, removing all the nails and puttying every hole. Then there is sanding, cleaning the walls, removing the outlets, more sanding, more wiping, then the actual work of the change begins. Whew! It has been a lot of hard work and I am only half way to completion and yet the portion that is done is so dramatic that I am more motivated than ever to complete the work.

All while I am doing this project, climbing up and down the ladder, crouching on the floor, measuring and installing the wallpaper I am thinking about how things change. Change happens in two ways: we are the object of change or the agent of change.

When change happens to us, things occur that we cannot control and we are the object of change. Be it personal, professional, social, financial or spiritual when things change that we did not initiate it can throw us for a loop. What we thought was going along great suddenly takes an unexpected turn and we have to deal with the newness of it all. We may feel like a victim and yet to survive we somehow have to move towards being a victor over the circumstances of the change.

Then there are times like my renovation project where we decide that it is time for a change and we move forward as an agent of change. We want this change, we acted on the impulse and now we have to enlist the support and passion of others who will be impacted by our idea. We have to work to see it through to the end and help others acclimate to the change we have enacted. In this case we know what is coming and our job is to communicate that to others. When we are the object of change someone else is trying to do that for us. Either way someone has to communicate what is going to happen, how it will happen, and when it is done happening.

The only constant in life is change. No matter who you are or what life you live something will change. As we can only control two things – our attitude and our actions – when change hits we have to decide how we are going to handle it. Life is all about how you handle change, whether you want to change or not.

It’s sort of like putting up wallpaper, the pre work can kill you and yet the final results are worth the hours of grueling work. So you keep going, keep working and trust that the end will be a better version of where you are today. And in my case, take a couple Tylenol and get some rest, tomorrow there is more work to be done.

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