Change

Change can be a very scary thing.  To some people, change is the most scary thing of all.  People in general I think are creatures of habit.  We get used to something, a way of living, certain surroundings, and a change can throw their life completely off balance.  It can really affect us.

I really have seen this very clearly in the last week or so.  Our son is turning three in May, and we have decided that it is finally time to get him out of his crib and into a big boy bed.  I also decided that I would move my office – which was in one of the upstairs bedrooms – downstairs into a smaller bedroom, and move him into the room that the office was in, which is bigger, and closer to the back of the house and not as central as his other room was.  In other words, we could sit in the kitchen or living room after he went to bed and have less chance of disturbing his sleep.

So I got very excited about these renovations.  We got the storage room in the basement cleaned out good and the bedroom where the office was going.  I rearranged my storage closet into an awesome craft closet.  I did a good spring clean on my office and shredded a bunch of stuff that needed shredding.  Moved my four book shelves and hundreds of books downstairs, as well as my monstrous desk.  The room was now empty and ready to turn into a fabulous little boys room.  These were all amazing changes.  Changes that really only affected me, and in a good way.  Everything was organized, my office was now more accessible, and I really think it will be used more now that it isn’t just a room in the back of the house.  None of these changes really affected my son, as he still had his old room, and I’m sure he could sense that there was something going on, but in no way thought it was going to have any affect on his life as he knew it.

We made some more changes.  Painted the room that would be his, bought a bedspread, got an awesome bed from his Godparents, and really started to turn it into his room.  As we went along, we made sure that we included him in all the changes, explaining to him that this was his new bed, and his new room, and that soon he would be sleeping in there.  He seemed fine with the whole thing and actually quite excited about the new bed, but did he really understand what we were saying to him?  Probably not.

We decided (more for my sake than anything) that we would start the transition on a Friday night.  His furniture was moved over, but we hadn’t moved his fan over or put up the shelves or a few of the finishing touches.  But it was pretty much put together.  We had explained to him over and over again that this was his room now, and that he would be sleeping in there.  He seemed great about it.  Until it came time to sleep in there at night.

Lets just say that we had a few growing pains getting him settled in there.  We were used to him going down to sleep between 9:00 and 9:30 and waking up between 7:00 and 8:00 the next morning.   Of course you go through the whole thing thinking “this is going to be like this forever and will never get any better!’

*SOB*….and of course it gets better.  It will be a week tomorrow and last night when I put him to bed it was just like putting him in his crib.  I got my “goodnight Mommy…I love you Mommy.”  like I always did, and he slept right through the night.  Still likes his door left open, but that’s something we’ll work on later.  His old room has now been taken apart and turned into a spare bedroom again until we save up the money to do the kitchen renovations that we want to do and we turn that room into a dining room.

I know that to my son, it seemed that his whole life was probably changing.  He spends almost half his life sleeping, and we basically turned everything around on him.  Poor kid.  Luckily he loves his new room now and I think as he gets used to it, he’ll be telling me to shut the door again.

This is just one example of change.  Sometimes making a willing change is the hardest thing we can do.  Leaving a job we hate so we can go back to school to do something that we really love.  Getting out of a dead end relationship because it’s easier to stay than to face the fear of change.  Sometimes change is thrown at us and we have no control over it.  Losing a job due to circumstances beyond our control, losing someone close to us because they decided to walk away from us.  These changes can be frightening, and we can feel that nothing will ever be good again.

Then we find another job.  Maybe a better paying one.  Or you meet someone that treats you with the respect you deserve.  All of a sudden, it’s like “Hey!  This thing happening to me that I thought was the worst thing possible turned out to be the greatest gift life could have given me!”  We look at change in a different way and realize that everything happens for a reason.

It’s all about how we approach change.  Do we buck it every chance we get?  Grumbling and groaning every time something new gets sent our way?  Or do we embrace it, and try to figure out how we can make it work for us?  Look for what opportunities we can draw from it, and how it can make us better people, with happier lives.

“I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” – Maya Angelou

The pics below are of my new office, my sons new bedroom, and his old bedroom, converted into a spare bedroom for now.  All wonderful changes!

 

Resolutions

Aren’t resolutions a wonderful thing?  At the end of a year that may have gone well or not, each stroke of midnight on December 31st signifies a new beginning.  A new year is a fresh start.  A piece of paper that hasn’t been written on yet.  A freshly vacuumed carpet that hasn’t been walked on yet.  No mistakes (except perhaps that sloppy drunken kiss you placed on that total stranger at midnight).

I think we all, to a certain extent, tend to make resolutions around the start of a New Year.  Even if we don’t write them down, or tell people or blog about it.  Unconsciously even, we look at our lives and try to find ways to improve ourselves, our behaviour, often our health and the way we look.  We yearn for a fresh start, for a new beginning, a second chance.  A tenth chance, or thirtieth.  As though we can erase all our bad behaviour and unhealthy eating and lack of a healthy lifestyle with one stroke of the clock and start over again.

So here we are on the 5th of January.  For some, this is already the watershed point. For others, maybe a few more days or weeks, possibly even months.  How is it that we have so many aspirations and dreams on the 31st of December and here we are, not even a week later, and many of us are saying “well, maybe next year.”  Did we forget how excited we felt at the prospect of a new beginning?  Did we all of a sudden stop caring, just as quickly as we started?

I think a lot of the time we put too much pressure on ourselves.  On New Years Eve I was alone, my husband was working and my son was in bed by 9:30. None of us had been feeling very well, and so I looked forward to relaxing.  So I opened a can of Alphagetti, a bottle of wine and curled up in bed to watch Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin Eve.  I think it was the first New Years Eve that I have actually been alone and not had anyone to hug and kiss and celebrate with at midnight.  It didn’t bother me though, we never have been big on celebrating New Years, so I relaxed and enjoyed the quiet evening.

Being alone though, gave me the opportunity to really think about my New Years Resolutions.  On January 2nd I thought I’d tweet them, thinking perhaps that putting them out there into cyberspace would make me more likely to keep them. You can follow me on twitter here.

These are the ones I came up with and whether I’ve kept them or not so far:  I’m going to make sure I have breakfast every morning (yes), I’m going to take my vitamins every morning (no), take lunch to work every day (yes), make it the night before (yes), drink more water (yes), less caffeine (no), take more time for reading (yes) and knit more (yes). I’m going to try at least one new recipe each week (the week isn’t over yet), drag my ass out of bed early each morning to give myself extra time to get to work on time (yes).

Then the more important ones: I’m going to be a more patient wife, mother, daughter and friend (that still remains to be seen!)

Also, I am going to perform one random act of kindness (RAK) daily.  No matter how small.  Even a well placed smile of encouragement can be a good thing.  Can be just what someone needs to get through their day.

I got thinking about this.  Really, this is the most important one.  Yes, the other ones are good, good for me, changes that I should probably be making to my life and should continue to past January and into the years to come.

But to really think about and knowingly and thoughtfully extend kindness to another person just because…not because you’re expecting something in return, or to be praised for it or acknowledged for it, if everyone made that resolution on New Years Eve and actually carried it out not just for January and February, but into next year, and the year after, wouldn’t the world be a much nicer place to live?  If everyone made their decisions based on being kind to other people, based their actions, their words on the feelings of other people, Can you imagine how amazing that would be?

That to me sounds like a resolution worth keeping, and worth being renewed every year.

For some ideas and info about RAKs – check out the Random Acts of Kindess Website.  It’s a great tool.

Happy New Year to everyone, and may 2011 be a year to remember for you all.  Lots of love.