Out With the Old and In With the New!

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” – Oprah Winfrey

 As the earth spins, days pass, and as we evolve and progress, one of the most difficult parts of life is accepting and adapting to change. Change is inevitable and healthy, albeit quite intimidating. We tend to fall into comfortable patterns and we cling to what we know, sometimes rejecting beneficial changes. We all have those friends- the ones that call with desperation in their voices,sharing tales of woe about how they fight consistently with their boyfriend or girlfriend and worry that the relationship is weakening. We supportively tell our friend that maybe they’re hanging on to what their relationship used to be and that maybe it’s time to consider moving on. They seem to listen intently, ingesting every pearl of wisdom you have to share until the next day when the happy couple returns to the status quo. We can plan to repeat this same routine next week.

We place a lot of importance on history and shared experiences, but just because we have fond memories with someone or we’ve shared special times with them, does not mean that the relationship we have with that person will never change. In fact, it’s likely that it will. As individuals, we constantly evolve, and our evolutions as individuals inevitably impact our relationships with others.

Fearing change is natural and organic and sharing memories and experiences can absolutely be a means of bonding to other people. We also need to be willing to accept that having shared memories and experiences does not mean that we should hang onto a bond that is not what it once was. We cannot pretend that nothing has changed. When a relationship begins to do more harm than good, we must be willing to let go.

Admittedly, there are so many times that I wonder, “How did I get here so fast?” I am so often amazed at how quickly my life seems to progress. I vividly remember my eighth grade commencement, my various involvements in high school, my high school graduation, and crying as I watched my parents drive away after helping me move into my college dorm. There is never a time that I take for granted how gracefully my life has evolved. None of these changes have been easy and each has incited great fear and apprehension. In review, there are some people that have been in my life since the very beginning, from kindergarten until this day, but there are some that were once so important, yet we’ve drifted. This change is okay and I’ve accepted it. By no means have the memories and experiences I shared with these people faded in importance. They are still very much a part of me, but as I’ve grown as an individual, change and evolution have allowed me to mature from them.

I’ve focused on change a lot in this blog, and it’s a topic that never lessens in importance. Shared histories and experiences are so very significant- they help us to grow into our full selves, but clinging to the past because of fear and apprehension of the unknown is unproductive and harmful. A willingness to evolve and learning to let go allows us to look ahead to our bright and beautiful futures.

I think at the start of a new year, this idea of accepting change is so valuable. Of course I’ve made resolutions to get in shape and work hard, but I’ve also resolved to do my best to “go with the flow.” I need to be flexible and adaptable and I know that 2012 is the year to learn to do just that!

What are your resolutions for the New Year? Have you had any significant changes in your life that have shaped you? 

In My Next Life, I Want To Be My Dog

Disclaimer: The following statement is not meant to inflict shame or insult upon any of my two-legged loved ones.

I like dogs more than I like most people. This is not to say that I don’t like people or that I put dogs and people in the same category. Let’s get real; obviously dogs are in a higher category than  most people.

My family rescued my beautiful dog, Gracie, about a year and a half ago. She succeeds our family’s princess of a puppy, Sophie, my first love. We have no idea what Gracie’s life enTAILed preceding her entry into our family  and at first we had a hard time connecting with her. She didn’t display affection, act protective, or even respond to us for the most part. We (fondly, of course) referred to her as a “Lug,” because she really didn’t do much of anything.

Of course, with time, patience, and lots of reassurance from us, Gracie has become a part of the family. She is affectionate, protective, and responsive. We love her very much and she clearly loves us in return. Today, however, was an exciting first in my relationship with Gracie because today was the first time she followed me around the house. She walked beside me like the trusty companion she is, and I was touched. I’ve seen her follow closely on the heels of my parents’ feet, but this was a first for me. I felt Gracie’s loyalty and trust more than I have ever before.

I find dogs to be so sincere. In my opinion, they behave the way that humans should behave toward one another. There are so many lessons that we can learn from our dogs and we’d be better people if we acted more like them. If dogs were our teachers we would learn these lessons and more:

  • Always run to greet loved ones when they come home.
  • Take naps.
  • Be loyal.
  • Always be yourself.
  • If something you want is buried, dig until you reach it.
  • When you’re happy, jump around and wag your whole body.
  • Do not bite when a growl will suffice.
  • Take the opportunity to appreciate the small stuff.
  • If someone is having a bad day, sit close and nuzzle them.

In my next life, I hope I have the honor of being as great as my dog. She has taught me how to be a better person, an invaluable lesson.