Dealing with Change: Challenge or Opportunity

My early morning walk today along the beach has offered up a new challenge for me. The community in which I live is changing dramatically. New construction is more modern and bigger. Landscaping is cleaner and more precise. Even though the changes are heralding progress and, no doubt, higher property values, I am feeling unsettled, and experiencing a strangeness, in this environment which has been mine now for many years.

I find myself commenting to others that I am thinking of moving to another area where the environment would be more like this one was 10-15  years ago.

Because I have walked early in the morning for so long, I know the names of many of the workers on the beach and at the homes along the way. Recently I have had to say goodbye to two of them who have been here as long as I can remember. As I walk past the house where Tomas used to work, I miss calling out to him, “Buen dia, Tomas, como tu estas” and his reply of “Muy bien, Dona, gracias a Dios. Como esta su salud?” We always exchanged a few sentences and wishes for the day to go well. Then one day he was not there. I was told he had retired and had gone to live with family in the country side.

As I cross the road to the beach area I look for Papa who went to another beach to work. He never failed to call to me and exchange greetings. I miss those exchanges and the nourishing human contact. They have been important for me, especially in the last 2 years of isolation caused by the pandemic.

The last few years of the pandemic have been, of course, an individual experience, but there have been a few common effects and resulting changes for many people.

Isolation, and its effect, has surfaced as a common difficulty and one that can diminish the state of one’s health. In-person socializing has been limited and can be detrimental to one’s well-being.

In social media, I see an increase in posts that focus on wellness and identification of self, that is, who we are as individuals. My published book has the latter as its theme and how one can discover who the self was early in life and how it changes through a person’s life journey. When I wrote it a few years ago the theme was not common. Now that theme is popping up everywhere.

Of course, change is inevitable, and for me the question now is, “Do I need to examine my current response to the changes of recent years and modify it to improve my well-being?

For a while now I have been feeling very negative about being restricted to my home, and to social engagement virtually through internet. It has also been very hot during the summer months, much hotter than in previous years, and outdoor activity has been restricted. I realize that I have even been depressed, feeling resigned to it all, and hopeless to do anything other than to accept it. In order to keep myself busy, I was taking on new activities, setting new study goals, and the result was self-induced “overwhelm”.

I was lucky to find a 5 day challenge on the topic. With what I learned, I have started to “declutter” not only my physical environment, but also that of my mental and emotional perceptions.

When one embarks on a process to declutter, it is with the knowledge that as the old and no longer relevant is discarded, space opens up to permit the entry of the new, and to creative discovery.

I am now considering how to widen my circle of contacts to include in-person engagement. With the lessening of community restrictions now, I can look for a group in which to share common concerns and ideas with other creatives about writing and art activities.  I am feeling more positive about dealing with change, and even welcoming it.

How are you dealing with change? Please share. Would love to hear your thoughts.