Change is a part of life. YES, WE KNOW THAT, thank you very much to every book or magazine we’ve ever read and every Cialis ad we’ve ever had the misfortune of watching. But it’s easy to underestimate how hard that change can be. Why then have I put this under ‘Reader Favourites’?
Well, I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve decided that nearly every single change in all of our lives, whether through happenstance or planning, has a downside and an upside. We readily see the downside of turning 30 or 40 or 50 but how often do we look at the bright side?
OK, personal story time: When Andrew and I first got married and moved to Auckland things did not go exactly as we’d hoped.
After arriving back ecstatic from our fantastic honeymoon in the tropics, reality set in. Our flat was so dank and mouldy that we even had water trickling down the INSIDE of our spare room. I missed all my friends and family and to top it all off we both ended up so sick one night that my husband was admitted to the emergency department with suspected Meningitis.
Waiting to hear the diagnosis while parents slept fitfully in our bedroom next door, I got into my little yellow-duvet bed in the spare room and wept and prayed – the water running down the walls the least of my problems.
Thank the Lord, he was ok but we spent several months (years actually) afterwards feeling very poorly and depressed. I had to quit my high school teaching job that I loved due to CFS (M.E.) and Andrew struggled on in his low-paying job.
The change was seemingly insurmountable. After seven months I said to Andrew that I simply could not remain in Auckland and wanted to move to Tauranga to be close to our friends and family. He agreed that he would like to move if he could get a job. We had basically decided to leave anyway, even if it meant camping out at Mum and Dad’s for a while.
Looking back on those years, I used to think of them as having been stolen from us. However, once I consciously thought of what they had given us, I began to see things from a slightly different perspective. Our changes had lead to:
- A closeness of relationship and interdependence on one another
- That if you are truly miserable, you can choose another life as we did even if it costs you in another area (I know this is not as easy for everyone)
- We appreciate anything warm and dry and felt rich to move to a little one bedroom cottage by the sea (please see photo Andrew took of his replica cottage model)
- We had the utmost sympathy for anyone having to ‘rough it’ or anyone going through difficult times
- We learnt that not every relationship has an automatic honeymoon period – but that that is ok
Whatever change you’re facing or whether it’s needing to slow down the change, if you look hard enough you will see an upside to every change that life throws at you. Whether your best friend walked away or you are moving countries; whether you are facing illness or you have simply made up your mind a change is needed, change can teach us a lot and make us better people.
I sympathise completely with each and every one of you going through a difficult time at the moment and hope and pray you can see the good in your changes.