That doesn't make it any easier, though.
I've been thinking about change a lot lately. My older son is getting ready to start high school next year. That is going to be a huge change, for him and for me. A month ago, my mom moved into assisted living near me, which resulted in change for the entire family. Change is a necessary part of life, to be sure, but it can leave you feeling a bit uncomfortable at times.
Of course, there are also less stressful, less life-altering changes. A few weeks ago the sofa my husband and I purchased for our family room was delivered. We were long overdue for a new one. Our old one had served us for over 14 years, seeing us through multiple pets and two young children. It had taken a beating and had gotten to the point that I was embarrassed to have anyone over. When our new sofa arrived, we put it the same spot where the old couch had been. It was bigger and darker in color, so I was somewhat startled every time I walked into the room, but I figured that I would get used to it in time. We planned to eventually purchase a new entertainment center and a new chair. I was pretty sure a new rug was in order, as well. In decorating, it seems, one thing always leads to another.
What if, I wondered, we put moved the t.v. to the corner and put the couch on the opposite wall? It was an idea that I had been kicking around for a while, so yesterday afternoon, when we should have been cleaning and getting ready for my mom's visit for Sunday dinner, we started moving furniture around. When we were finished, we took one look at the room and said, "I think I like this!"
Suddenly our room seemed more open and spacious. That shouldn't have come as a surprise, I suppose since we had taken out a large entertainment center and a chair. I was excited about the new look, and maybe even more excited that with this new arrangement we weren't going to need to purchase a new entertainment center and chair.
But as my husband and son moved the chair and the entertainment center out into the garage, I felt a tug at my heart. My husband and I had bought the entertainment center when we were newly married, living in our first house. The chair had been bought when we moved into this house nearly 15 years ago. I felt sad watching these pieces of furniture that we had carefully and lovingly picked out as we started our lives together being removed, knowing they would be eventually discarded.
Change, even good change, can be hard.
But I realized that I had a choice. I could focus on the loss and feel sad, or I could focus on the positive that resulted from the change and feel happy. Change necessitates the shedding off of at least part of the old. There is no change without loss of some kind. We get to choose, however, how we look at change, good or bad. We can look back and dwell in the loss, or we can look ahead and embrace the new.
I choose to look ahead.