Dealing with change - revisited
Hello my dear listeners! Welcome back to yet another new and exciting episode of Morning Cup of Sunshine podcast. Before I start talking about today’s episode, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to you all. I can not say how thankful I am for your support and love towards my last week’s episode. It was not at all an easy episode to create. I have paused, composed myself, restarted the recording multiple times. It was very hard to gather my thoughts and not let my emotions carry me away. It was not easy to talk about my loss, my grief. I can not thank you enough for all your lovely messages, emails, and even phone calls. I can not imagine that I finally found courage to talk about my loss, but I could do it because of your love and support. So, I am eternally grateful for it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Alright, now, let’s come back to today’s topic. Dealing with change - revisited? Why is the title ‘revisited’? Didn’t I already have an episode with the same name? Is it a new episode or old one? Confused? Don’t be. Let me explain. This is a brand new episode. If you want to listen to the old episode on the same topic, I will link it in the show notes for you. That episode has a lot of practical tips. It has several steps that you can follow to deal with the change. I still remember, I made an episode about dealing with change last year, around the same time. My son was starting school, or shall I say virtual school? It was all new for us. I was confused, overwhelmed, and stressed. I was not sure how to handle my work, home, his virtual school and at the same time entertain Maitreyi because she was not going to her daycare. That’s when I started thinking about the ways to deal with this changed reality and created an episode with lots of tricks and tips that I learned along the way in the hope to help others who are in the same boat. But who would have thought, we would be in the same boat, even after one year? I know, the world has started to open up again. There is some sense of normalcy. But, yes there is a big but, huge uncertainty looming over us. My son goes to elementary school and he is not vaccinated. The cases due to delta variants are rising and this one affects the kids more. There is a lot of discussion going around among parents whether it is safe to send the kids to school, in person. Since all the kids are going back to school, will there be a proper social distance maintained? These are small kids, will it be possible for them to take care of themselves by wearing masks all the time, sanitizing their workspace, maintaining social distance in lunch recess, and whatnot? All these questions are looming around. There is still some level of confusion, there are completely different thought processes. Some parents are comfortable sending their kids to school, some parents have no option but to send the kids to school, some are not sure, some do not want their kids to go back to school in person. Everyone is trying to navigate the situation the best way that they can. We are again standing on a crossroad of confusion and uncertainty. How to handle this changed reality? Last entire year kids were learning from home, how to deal with the change in their environment when there is still some amount of uncertainty?
Last year, we all were working from home. Now offices are starting to open up. We have to get used to those rushed mornings, those train travels, those commute times again. Our routines are going to change. How to deal with that change since now we are used to working from home a lot.
Several of my friends’ kids went off to college this year. They were home, doing virtual school for the last one year. Suddenly, they are off to college this year. Even though it was expected and definitely a good and a proud moment for parents, it is hard sometimes. It is hard to believe the young kids who you raised are no longer home. It is hard to accept this huge shift. Your life was revolving around them at one point and now they are off to chase their big dreams. You were complaining a few years back about the very less ME time and now you have all the ME time that you want but it doesn’t feel as sweet as it used to be. How to accept this huge change?
Today’s episode is dedicated to all those who are going through one of these situations. I am sure you fall into at least one of these. Am I right? So, my dear listener, this is the next version of last year’s episode, Dealing with change and this one's for you.
Change is the only constant in life. I firmly believe that we live life in phases. But as a human being we love stability, we love certainty and that’s why it is difficult for us to accept the change. Your mom or dad used to love the songs in their era and you felt they are not even trying to like the songs created in your era. I remember having this conversation with my dad a lot of times. He and I loved talking about Bollywood movies and he was quite open to watch new movies. But when I used to ask him if he liked the songs in that movie, he always used to say,” No, it doesn't even come closer to the songs made in the 60s or 70s.” You can call it a generation gap but for me it was more to do with accepting the change. It is hard for us to adapt to new technology sometimes. It is challenging for us to settle in a new city or at a new job. This all stems from our love for stability. I think the biggest key to deal with the change is to shift our mindset. We somehow believe that change is going to be difficult. It is going to be challenging or even stressful. I think we need to believe that change can be good. It is an opportunity. It is the way to explore new things. Who knows we might find something more beautiful, more fulfilling in this change. Shifting our mindset is easier said than done. You can not wake up one day and say, alright let me change my mindset and now forget all my worries about moving to the new city. It is a learned practice. You need to first acknowledge the change, accept that new reality and slowly ease into the new setting. If you keep on dwelling in the past, it will be harder for you. I know a lot of us have anxiety about sending our young kids to in person school, but think about the social skills that our kids missed last year, think about the lifelong memories with friends that they could not create last year. I know these reasons sound really trivial when compared with the safety and health of our kids. But if you have no choice but to send your kids to school because you have to go to your office or you are a single mother with a high pressure job or any other reason, isn’t it better for you to acknowledge this change. Do whatever you can to ensure the safety of your kids. Teach them how to properly use masks, how to wash and sanitize the hands. Keep them home if you have a slight doubt that they might have a cough or cold. Ensure the safety of not only your kids but also of the other kids in their school. But worrying and stressing yourself out is not going to resolve this issue. Indecisiveness is the biggest factor when it comes to our resistance to change. We know that this is the decision that we have to take but somehow, we are not ready so we keep postponing the decision making. But that indecisiveness starts to pile up a tremendous amount of pressure on you. Another factor that plays a crucial role in dealing with change is fear. Fear of leaving comfort, fear of the unknown, fear of loneliness.
You are comfortable now in your work from home routine. Even though it was challenging in the beginning, you have now found the rhythm. Even though it is not perfect, you have set up your own little home office. You are saving on commute time. You are getting better at managing your time. But now, it is time to go back to the office. You are getting emails to join the office starting next month, initially for a couple of days a week and then for all 5 days. You remember those long commutes, those train journeys where you hardly get a chance to sit in your entire hour-long journey, those long days at work, leaving your home early morning only to return late evening. It makes you sick to your stomach even to think about it now. I understand some of us might even be excited to go back to work and have some actual face time with their colleagues. Some of us might have no choice but to go back to work but for most of us this transition is not an easy one. Some of us have younger children who are still at home and you are worried about sending them to a daycare full time. It is the transition, it is a change and even though you think you are ready to go back to work, it is giving you anxiety attacks every time you think about it. I would suggest, take one day at a time. Planning and scheduling are going to be the best tools that you need to use. Those are going to be your weapons against this anxiety. Plan your morning routine, night routine. Schedule a downtime for you. Try to be less overwhelmed with all the things on your plate instead of looking at one thing at a time. I am in the process of creating an episode on how to reduce that overwhelm. I will talk about more tools to overcome this overwhelm in that episode. But make sure that you are not running around frantically. You have to let go of a few things while you are trying to adjust to your old routine. Don’t beat yourself thinking how can’t I do all those things now that I used to do before. Lot has happened in the past year and a half. There is a lot of water under the bridge. So, don’t dwell in the past and don’t beat yourself by comparing to that past. Give yourself grace and move forward. Moving forward by embracing change is the way to go, am I right? Sometimes, we have to make efforts to find the good in the change, sometimes it is hard to find. Sometimes it could be something that you were not anticipating or something that you do not want or something that could change the course of your entire life. In these cases, it is very difficult to accept the change, let alone deal with it. But if you have no choice but to deal with it then why not try to accept it with grace and move on. I totally get it that it is easier said than done but isn’t it better to just acknowledge it and take actions to make it a little bit easy transition. We all are trying to navigate this constantly changing world. We all are trying our best to deal with the change the best way we can. Remember any change even if it is a good one always comes with a little bit of discomfort. Infact, change begins at the end of your comfort zone. Continuous improvement, progress is nothing but a change, right? Got free time because kids moved out for college, don’t dwell on the past, do things that you always wanted to do but never had time. Follow your passion, work on your hobby for which you never had time before. If you want to become something, attain greatness, you can’t have it if you just remain the same, you achieve something only if you change, you improve, you work on yourself to become a better version of yourself. Be the change that you want to see in the world, you have the power to change the world, one day at a time but for that you first need to accept the change. If you just start looking at things differently, if you change the way you perceive things, you might find a completely new way of living, succeeding. But for that you need to acknowledge this new way, changed way of thinking. Remember, only you can change your life, no one else can do that for you so accept that change is inevitable, change is beautiful , change is the only constant.