So I totally love this time of year. There is something about the turning leaves and the chill creeping into the air that I find so magical. I’m not a huge fan of winter with its long dark nights, bare trees and barren soil so I appreciate how Autumn eases me in gently,distracting me with its beauty so that I hardly notice.
At the time of writing,in York we just have the first hints of the change, with only one side of the trees turning orange while the other side remains green for now. Before the glorious new life of spring these trees will lose all their leaves and endure the harsh weather of winter.
It’s made me think about those times in life when things are starting to change,nothing drastic just yet but things are definitely different. It could be the beginnings of a job or house search. Maybe its a friendship changing when you thought it would be the same forever. Or that feeling of increased responsibility as you have a child,get a mortgage or a promotion.
How you react depends how you feel about change, but it can (for me it always does) leave you feeling unsettled, as if something’s just not quite right. Then before long, the change occurs, whatever it is you were nervous of happens and life goes on. Even when the change is positive, the process can be hard. Even when it’s something you know needs to happen, it can feel threatening; like a tree about to lose all its armour for the winter.
I’m naturally not a lover of change,I like to know what’s going on,who my people are,etc. But I have learned a few things about how to better manage it.
I’ve written before about how important it is to have your people. Those who you know without a doubt have your back, who will cheer you on and stand by you whatever happens. Having this team as a constant in your life can make change easier; they’re the pivot point in the middle of all your turning.
Change is also easier if you’re holding onto things lightly. If you cling onto things, letting go and moving on is much harder. I’m the person who calls the hotel or campsite “home”, regardless of how short our stay is; because I like to feel settled. This makes me a terrible traveller. Dan & I spent a couple of weeks travelling between D.C, New England (of course, in the fall) and NYC. The idea was to spend one or two nights in each location, but I couldn’t handle moving “home” that often so we changed our plans to move around less!
This is a trivial illustration, but is part of the same thing. If I had been more able to accept something as not-permanent I would have found it a lot easier, and been a much more adventurous and exciting travel partner! And in the same way if we don’t put all our hope in things lasting forever (jobs, houses, etc) we’ll feel less traumatised if and when they change.
When a boat is in wild waters, with changing winds and choppy seas, its anchor is put down. And for us, where we have our anchor determines how well we cope when things change. Regardless of how good my marriage and friends may be, how stable my financial situation is, how good my health is, there is only one thing I can be 100% confident will never change:
My God. If everything on earth was taken away he would still stay the same, as he has done since the beginning of time. This brings me such peace, such relief. He doesn’t always stop the changes I dread or hurry up the changes I’m waiting for. But he is constant through it all.
That’s where I want my anchor to be.