Sunday, May 25, 2008

Change - the One Constant

To make or become different.
alter, modify, mutate, turn, vary
Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition

Change. It is constant. It is stressful. It is necessary. It is uncomfortable. It can be wonderful. Change is cyclical - one change causes another, which requires another.

I have been experiencing a lot of change lately. Some of it is very positive. We will have the 30th anniversary in our house July 1 (one thing that hasn't changed!) There is a lot that needs to be done to this house. DC is continuing to work awhile longer while drawing Social Security so that we can make some of these improvements.

The first thing on the list was to replace all of our basic appliances - all of them were at least 15 years old. They have served us well. Their time has come - BUT - do you realize how much reading material comes with each new acquisition?

We also recently joined the 21st century and bought cell phones - more directions!!


Do you have any clue how bad I am at reading directions?? Do you have any idea how much I dislike figuring out new technology? Above is a picture of the manuals I have been given over the last month. DC is not happy that I have not read them from cover to cover.

So - the new stove doesn't have a big drawer at the bottom in which to place the pots and pans - where they have lived for 30 years. It has a warming oven instead. The new oven is so much larger that the drawer is so much smaller. This means I had to find a new place for the cookware - I had to empty the cereal out of its home for the last 3 decades, and restructure the cupboards above the stove and microwave - this required reconfiguring that cupboard. This is ONLY THE BEGINNING.

For most of the past 30 years I have been the president of our local mission program in our church. For 17 of those years I was also on the district mission council. This year when election time came, I told the pastor I was ready for a change - this is a change I brought upon myself. It was time.

Our family is going through a major change right now. You have been praying for us without knowing details. For that I am so grateful. It is a painful kind of change.

Today DC and I went through all of the paper work I have to turn in before retirement - I have to decide how much tax I want taken out of my retirement check (can I spell "NONE?").

My task for the next month is writing down everything I do in my job on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. How do I document all the changes that have been made in the last few months in a way someone can easily read and understand? How does one write down in a way someone else can carry on when what I do is so instinctive? I will bring up a document that needs to be sent out, to discover that it is dated exactly one year earlier - how do I pass that on???

Very soon I will walk out of the office I have "lived" in for 15 years. I will dismantle the shelves of "pretties" that have decorated my space. I will have to find a place for them to live in my house. I can hardly wait for all the work of the next month to be done so I can walk into my "changed" life.

I have planned changes beginning July 1. I will go to the gym at least 3 mornings at 8:00 - I am determined to feel better - to get my body back into better shape - I need to feel better about myself again. I need to be able to wear the clothes I have hanging in my closet and not have to buy bigger ones. Positive changes!

This one thing I know. This is the one thing for which I am so very thankful:

Hebrews 13:8
: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (NIV)


Mike Golch said...

Change is good.

Susie said...

So many changes means so much to absorb. When we remodeled our kitchen I had to relearn all the appliances. I still keep the manuals close by. All the added bells and whistles are new learning curves.
You have so many things to look forward to. My prayers continue.

Nadine said...

It is good that God is one constant we can count on. I'm still praying for you. I hope that the situation your family is going through will resolve with as little hurt as possible.

Diane J. said...

Still praying about your situation. I know it's painful now, but I think when it's resolved that everything will be much better in the long run.

I'm usually pretty good about reading the papers and manuals that come with new gadgets and appliances, but good grief, you've been inundated with manuals and papers! As Susie said, just keep them close at hand for when you need to consult them. It'll all work out. :o)

Change is inevitable. We can't keep it from happening, but we can change our attitude and outlook about it.

Hope your M. Day is a good one, Dawn.

Love and hugs,


Anonymous said...

Change, sometimes we feel it is time for it long before it comes and other times it arrives when we least expect it.

Yes, it is so wonderful that he is the same and never changes.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Oh and when you finish you instruction manuals, I have folder and folders full of more I'd be willing to share! Of course, I probably have some for appliances, electronics I no longer even own!


nancygrayce said...

I NEVER read instruction manuals or maps. I just can't, that's all. I have always found stress of kind to be hard. I can hold up and go gangbusters until things calm down then I usually get sick. I am coughing like man, true to my routine! Still praying for your unspoken! :) love, Nancy

RainyD's said...

Change is a very scary thing - when your life is built on structure and stability! All the changes going on in your life would so much overwhelm me.

The fact that you are handling all these changes so readily - you are an amazing woman! I hope one day, I will be more like you.

I am continuing to pray for you and your family. Each time the Lord brings you to mind I pray - each time I pray over my future and the changes that are happening - I pray over you and the changes you are going through. Remember - although our lives on earth are constantly changing - there is one thing that will never change and that is God's love for you. And that thought, in and of itself is very comforting.

Midlife Mom said...

I am so with you on not reading all the manuals that come with new appliances and cell phones! ha! I just am not good at following the instructions and just seem to do better figuring it out on my own. Well, most of the time.....
I am not a person that likes change either. I struggle with that in many areas of my life but sometimes change is good and you have so many positive things that you are doing you will feel like a new person once all is said and done especially with the retirement. Am still praying for you for peace with your unspoken request! xoxo

Mimi said...

we have also lived in our home for 39 years...and in July we begin the long process of redoing and bringing it up to somewhat modern looking Kitchen and you mind if I just send my manuals along to you so you can decipher them for me???
I prayed for you this morning...

Barb said...

I don't envy you, having to write down every single thing you do at work, for your replacement. I don't think the boss realizes how difficult it is to do that when they insist on it.

Change is good though. You're entering a whole new era of your life and I'll bet the first day you get up and realize you don't have to go to that office, you're going to feel like a bird let out of its cage. FREE!

Maine Mom said...

I like your title, it so true!

I am one to only learn the basics of any appliance, electronic gadget we buy. The manuals sit in a drawer. I know how to make a call on my cell phone and answer it. I've programmed some numbers in the memory, but I never use them. Things are very complicated these days! I just don't want to take the time to figure them all out. :-)

I think of my mom and her work at our local university when I read about your work. I think when she retires, people are really going to appreciate all the work she does, and wonder how she did it all! And I think the same is going to happen when you leave.

I hope everything works out with all the changes going on in your life...planned and unplanned.

Maine Mom said...

Okay, the first line of my previous comment should say, it is so true. :-)

Christa said...

Sounds like you've been busy. I will be retiring next year so i will get to do the same.
I continue to pray for you and what's up. I pray all is well. I am using another blog now ~
God bless

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

That is a lot of change to deal with and learn to live with. Hugging you in my heart and praying for you too.

PEA said...

I think we get so used to our safe little world we build around us, any kind of change scares us! But, most of the time that change is the best thing for us...then you look back and wonder why you didn't do that change way before now! My prayers continue for you, dear Dawn!! I never read the manuals either when I get a new appliance or such...they usually confuse me more than they help me anyway!lol xoxo

kpjara said...

15 years...that's a LONG time! I hope you enjoy the retirement...which with those grandbabies I KNOW you will!

Needled Mom said...

I am feeling stressed just reading about all of your "changes." I know that you will adapt to them well and move on to your "new" life.

Yes....I hate all of the manuals. Everytime there is a power outage I have to get out manuals to figure out how to reset all the silly clocks that they come with. Grrr.

I must say that I tend to use my warming drawer for storage more than what it is meant for. :)

Judith said...

I am sorry I haven't visited you much lately. (Too many changes going on here too) Whatever you
requested prayer about, please know I am praying God takes care of it, as only He can do.

I really understand even good things like retiring take some adjusting to. The best advice I can offer is that you give it a little time, and be gentle with yourself about the many changes, and get a good firm "No" for those who would fill your new found time.

Congratulations again on retiring.
I am sure you'll be very missed there.

And those instruction booklets, I really tried learning the things a cell phone can do, but gave up on it. I am very visual about learning, and get confused if someone tells me several steps to learn all together. In a pinch, I could call for emergency help, but that's about it. The book's print is too small, and they use such big words to describe which parts to press when. They should go to shopping malls, and ask real people what would help them understand how to use them.

Heather said...

Oh...change IS hard, I prayed for you~heather

Linds said...

Change is good, but usually only a while after it happens! Challenging? yes, and I am with you on the booklet reading and instructions. As far as I can see, life would be infinitely simpler if a WOMAN wrote the manuals!

Lala's world said...

I love that verse. it is really getting me through yet another change too, congrats on your making good healthy changes and I think you will totally enjoy your "retirement" cuz I don't see it as retiring but starting your next mission!

Nancy said...

I hate change so I'm praying for you as you face all of this. I think the older we get the harder change is for us but your Bible verse is perfect so put your focus on God. My prayers will be with you every step you take!

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Yeah, change is hard to deal with sometimes. I'm going to be leaving this job in 5 weeks and it'll feel strange, even though I'll only have been here less than 2 years. I can't imagine how odd it must feel after so many years. I will continue to pray for your and for your family during this time of change.

Linda said...

Oh Dawn, I sympathize. I really don't like change - and I absolutley hate learning about new appliances and things. When the instruction book looks like a novel, I just want to scream. It sort of frustrates me to think of all the things my computer and other things are capable of that I will never use (because I just don't know about them!). Ah well...I am sure you will get it all figured out.
I'm glad for the good changes and will continue to pray for you concerning the difficult ones. They are a part of life we simply cannot escape.
I'll bet the kitchen looks real spiffy!!

Tammy said...

I don't deal with change very well...and having so much at one time has got to be a little stressful, even if it some of it is very good.
Thankfully, God is always the same and always with us!
I'll keep praying for your family, dear Dawn...

Penless Thoughts said...

I know exactly what you are saying, Dawn. We have made so many changes. Downsizing, etc. and I tell you it has all been good and God continues His work with us, which bottom line is what this life is all about anyway. Great read. I'll be praying in the morning at 9:30 (my time)!!

Love Bears All Things said...

Sounds like you & your spouse are about where we are. Honey Bear is drawing his SS and investing it. He says he will work for a few more years. We will then be moving back to AL, our last move, we hope. Since I have only had part time employment through the years, there is no retirement from my job. I may actually have to go to work. You know about the insurance thing. There's a gap in our ages so no medicare for me for a while.
Mama Bear