Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The more things change

I'm not good with change. I resist it, I ignore it and, when all else fails, I rail long and hard against it. But sometimes change happens. And when it does, I have to remind myself that it's a good thing.

I've written enough 'surviving change' features to understand the basic principles. Change is uncomfortable. It involves unknowns. It involves anxiety (whether it's an invited change or not). But the pay-off (whether it's an invited change or not) can be great.

Chucking out the old allows room for the new. Whatever that may be. It may be better. It may be worse. One thing's for sure, it will be different. And change has a way of expanding. Making a change in one area can create development in unexpected places.

Sometimes we cling to old patterns because they're easy. We know how they work. We know what to expect. Letting them go leaves us with a big, empty vacuum, and a whole lot of wonder about what will (or won't) rush to fill it.

Bread and butter is hard to give up. It's easier, in so many ways, to leave off the jam, knowing that you'll be satisfied, if not scintillated.

But sometimes the rules change, and bread and butter can choke you.

Time to make jam.

[image: I love these jars by burgonandball.co.uk]


  1. Oh my life is constantly changing, children growing up, moving states, houses, schools, it's never ending roller coaster, not to mention being plonked in new cities & having to find new friends. I love it, i don't even think about it, i just go with it. I married into a family who loathe change, glad that is one characteristic our children didn't inherit, as their whole worlds completely change every 2-3 years. But if everyone liked changes no one would ever stay where they are, where i can find them. Love Posie

  2. So true. And while that was a fantastic metaphor, I am ACTUALLY making jam tomorrow. I'll be thinking of you... x

  3. I have always been Little Miss Comfort Zone. I think it was easier for mum if her girls were tame, she had enough on her plate with my dad and my brothers tend to do their own thing.
    But I agree, while the bread and butter can sustain you, sometimes you need and want the jam. I am learning it's OK to want more than what you've got.
    The other day I Googled "How to do something difficult" and I found an article that said "Do something difficult, it might even make you happy". Living in your comfort zone makes your comfort zone smaller, but the more you push on those boundaries, the bigger the world is to you.
    Sorry for the essay. :)

  4. Or you go through the kind of change that you don't even notice. Just a little bit every day and it's not until you look back 10 years that you realise you say and do things that you thought you never would. That can mess with your head.

    Love & stuff
    Mrs M

  5. Thanks Amanda,

    Growing up I hated change but now I find myself searching for it.

    Okay, I know its not Amanda, but I did crack myself up for a minute there (Alison called me Kris on my blog comments).

    I agree, change brings an opportunity for refreshment and a new outlook.

    Kirsty xx

  6. I am SO with you. I've just got back from 2 weeks in Sydney, and have realised just how much my life has changed now that I'm living in Hong Kong. It is so hard to get used (especially when I'm not so sure that I want to), but as you say when one door closes, another one opens. Let's hope so anyway eh?

  7. You intrigue me young Allison. All this talk of jam and change...

    I like change. Fear not the change, but revel in the potential results of change...

  8. i both resist and crave change!

    i often find myself considering big changes, like moving inter state for instance. I never know when this is about escapism or when it is about a real desire to change.

    i love your metaphor. i think jam is good for the soul!

  9. Well, now I am completely curious what the change is...

    I hated change as a kid. I grew up in the one house, went to the one primary school and one high school. Then I became an adult and moved cities with my husband-to-be and have done many things I thought I never would over the years!

    My fave saying I go on about a bit: 'Man cannot discover new oceans until he has courage to lose sight of the shore.' ~ Old Chinese Proverb.

    I love it. It' taking risks. Accepting change.

    Loved your post (and loved even more I can 'hear' your voice now when I read it). ;) x

  10. I'm in the middle of ch-ch-changes too, and am trying to just trust that all is well. Because it is, really. Jam. Choose the jam and the bread and butter will appear when needed.

    btw Al, I really could relate to your post yesterday about your boy heading off to school... it's bitter-sweet, motherhood. I still can't get over the fact my first little baby girl is 14 already.

    So, I'm hanging on to these early days with the two littlest ones as long as I can because I know how quickly they pass.

  11. "The rule is jam tomorrow and jam yesterday but never jam today" - Alice in Wonderland.

    Okay that quote doesn't really work here but it's the only one I know about jam. Still, wondering what change is afoot.

    Hope it's good jam.

  12. You've intrigued me Ms. Allison!

    Someone recently said to me (well they said it to a whole room of people but you know, I was there!) that "You will not grow when you are comfortable and you will not be comfortable when you grow".

    I liked that. Makes the change a little easier to handle. x

  13. Oooh what an intriguing post!

    I think I understand where you are coming from - and once again the timing of this is like kismet to me.

    2011 is my "year of being comfortable with being uncomfortable". I've floundered in mediocrity for so long because I'm too scared to try and fail at anything. And even though I'm scared to death to take some of my upcoming plunges, I remind myself of this mantra.

    So know you are not alone as you head off unto the unknown to make yourself some Jam!

  14. Jam? Butter? Bread?

    Just spit it out woman!

  15. Change is a good thing. I really like what Chantelle said. I am going to remember that. I shall now eat jam straight from the jar and think of you when I do so. :)

  16. I decided that this was the year to embrace change. Because it's going to happen anyway.

    Get into that jam jar!

  17. Despite being hopeless at making decisions and worrying myself to death over all manner of ridiculous things... I actually quite like change. Which seems odd... but still.

    And now you have me wondering just what big changes you are facing at the moment... cause I am curious like that!

  18. Yep, I completely agree - it can be hard to accept change, but it's well worth it in the long run.

  19. Lets face it, jam tastes better anyway.

  20. I tend to stick with the same old routine too, but now and again the comfort zone throws open its doors and I step outside, only to find things not as bad as I feared. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

  21. The 'bread and butter' and 'jam' analogy is such a good one for change. I don't think you get the true flavour of jam if you're not willing to give up the bread and butter sometimes and just gobble it up by the spoonful. That could just be me.

    I find change exhilarating, always have. But scary. And anxious. The big 'what ifs' are hard to keep down. But the great unknown has always held huge promise to me, and so I try to leap forward with abandon when it opens up. Just trust. x


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