2015 was a year of lots of change, tangible change, like jobs, geographical location, income, and lifestyle. 2015 also brought a lot of change that isn’t as easily measurable or quantifiable, like personal growth, and change in dynamics to our marriage.
When we lived in China last year, I found quickly that a lot of life turned out to be vastly different that what we had been told, what we expected, and what in many ways we had agreed to. Anytime plans changed or we packed up to head to a different city for a while, I would get so frustrated and bent out of shape because my tiny little world was getting rustled.
‘This is not what I bargained for’ or ‘ this is not what I agreed to’ were two phrases I repeated over and over again to my sweet husband who patiently listened and then kindly challenged my attitude and mindset many days.
Truthfully, there were facts of life in China, parts of our jobs, and things that happened that weren’t really what we had signed up for, or at least what we thought we had signed up for.
For years I have made change much harder on myself by resisting it. I would plant my feet, dig my heels in, and clench my fist only to be swept away by the strong current of change.
It’s amazing how much change loses its power to beat us up and knock us around when we don’t resist it. But in the year of 2015, I found that in order to survive and thrive amidst change I had to do more than merely choosing not to resist it.
Instead of taking this harden and rigid posture toward the change that came along, I started to lean into it.
When plans went awry, I tried to laugh.
When my work pushed me out to uncomfortable places, I shrugged my shoulders and said ‘ok bring it on.’
When unexpected expenses popped up and roadblocks halted us, I said ‘lets figure this out.’
What I found was that I didn’t get so banged up and pushed around by the change.
What I found was that change didn’t destroy the nice and tidy little life I was trying to keep.
What I found was that the change was going to change me, whether I liked it or not.
Leaning in allows the change to grow trust, develop patience, and increase our love for the adventure that life holds.
When change in all of its inevitability strikes and I feel resistance, the resistance I feel us usually is me.
Leaning into the turns and curves allows us to experience the ride without getting whiplash, laugh more, and find that maybe we are enjoying life in all of its unpredictability.
So here’s to a new year, , a year that I’m sure for you and me will be a year of change. Some change that will be good, some that may be bad, some planned and a lot will be unplanned, but lets lean into it. Lets allow our trust to deepen, our patience to grow, and our love for adventure peak with the change it will bring!