Friday, April 11, 2008

Change

It's inevitable, at least that's the consences.

Since we can't prevent change from occuring, it's more important how we deal with changes as they come along.

I'm retired from the Air Force, so I'm used to changes as I moved from base to base. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to not have to move as much as many other folks in the military.

My father is like a Gypsy, because he seems to relish moving all of the time. Every few years he's selling one house and buying another. He currently works for a company where he can drive all across the country delivering RV's to dealers. Once he told me that he believed that the world was meant to be explored, and that's what he likes doing.

A chip off the old block I'm not. Occasional travel is enjoyable, but uprooting my home every few years would make me crazy. I like planning how I am going to improve my home.

For example, I want to knock down a wall between two rooms in my basement this summer and turn the single large room this would create into a library.

In our family room, I plan on getting a flat-panel TV and embedding it into a wall so the wall remains flat and the TV is flush inside the wall. The components will be below this in a knocked out portion of the wall with the back extending into the adjoining room. In the adjoining room there will be a built-in bench seat to cover the fact that underneath is all of the stereo equipment from the family room. This will have the added benefit of being able to reach the back of my components easily to change wiring when needed. I will also run a network cable into the spot so I can connect network devices such as my Apple TV.

These are all nice changes, but what happens when life tosses you a change you don't really want?

My personal constitution allows me to remain stable during difficult times. I'm not sure how I got this way. If I knew, I could probably go on a speaking tour, write a book, and make millions showing other people how to toughen up.

Even though I might be considered an expert when it comes to not showing how much change affects me, I know the real story.

I am affected by changes just like everyone else. The way I deal with things is to look at my situation logically and try to handle things as intelligently as I can. Sometimes this requires the illusion that I am tough, and can appear to handle anything, but it's not always the case.

Life ends. I have lost several people, and animals, that have meant a great deal to me, and will lose a lot more as time goes by. This change cannot be prevernted. At least not yet.

To deal with this, I prepare my emotions by accepting the fact that the day will come when those older then I will pass. I think it helps to acknowledge this early on, and deal with these emotions over time rather then deny it will happen and then suddenly get hit. It's the whole cricle-of-life thing. It's gong to happen, so don't fight it.

The latest change in my life is getting divorced after 19 years of marriage.

Although this too is painful, I have seen it coming for a long while now. For years I have expected this inevitable outcome and have mentally prepared for the day. The result is that we are working out the details together and trying to remain friends throughout the process.

Divorcing intelligently is not the norm. In fact, many people we have had to deal with from our insurance company to our lawyers are amazed at how calmly we are proceeding.

Unfortunately, most divorces happen when one person is completely caught off-guard not realizing there was a problem with their marriage to begin with. Of course, this may be one of the problems...

Denial, not just a river in Egypt.

I was going to give advice to people who might be facing this, but I am not qualified to do so because every situation is different and everyone reacts to this sort of thing differently.

I will say that during this process emotions are high. Internally I have been on an emotional rollercoaster since the process began. If you are even remotely thinking of this in your own situation, make damn sure you have tried everything you possibly could before proceeding. It just makes good sense, before you destroy your family, to exhaust every avenue that is available to you.

In the end, after trying everything at your disposal, then talk it over and proceed intelligently and calmly. I'm certain it will be insanely difficult if just one of you feels this way, and considerably easier if you are both coming to the same realization that things are just not working.

Sometimes, it's tough to take the high road whe things aren't working for one and not the other. Instead of selfishly fighting them, it's best to release them.

I remember part of a saying that goes something like, “If you love someone, set them free...” Doing this is much better then, “I'll see you in court, bitch!”

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