Last blog, I wrote about questions to ask yourself so that you can keep track of how much change is going on for you, over the course of time. Why is that important? Because we often don’t realize how much accumulated change has happened, and when we don’t acknowledge it, we are left wondering why we are feeling low, or being less productive, or being cranky for no apparent reason. And, because if you’re not recognizing how much is happening, you may slide down that rabbit hole, black hole, into the abyss, and not even know why you got there. And then it’s more difficult to pull yourself out and get back to level ground.
The last blog is here. This article is about a story in my recent life which is an example of how practicing for change you know is going to happen will help you deal with the change more easily.
Practice for Changes You Know Will Happen
Practice? Yes, and the idea came from our dog Malik’s trainer. (Well, right; she trains all three of us. I know.) Donna’s at a new company, and instead of working mainly from home, she will work five days at her company. That leaves Malik and me. I used to be the backup sitter, not the primary one.
This is a big responsibility change, along with routines and schedule shifts (most routines, meals, work/personal time, his exercise time, bed/wake times… you name it.).
We figured out a few things which have helped me tremendously already.
I tell you this because it’s an example of practice, perspective, and figuring out what works for you – no matter the change.
- Before the first day of the new job, I practiced last week, just Malik and me, working through my workday, to see how his routines and mine would come together. The practical piece.
- I have more than one backup plan. This week, we are alone. I’m not in a panic, which would have been my normal, as I attempt to be as productive as I usually am. I have a sense of how my day needs to shift so that he and I can co-exist peacefully. The psychological piece.
There will be lots of surprises, but I have plans A, B, C and D to fall back on. Why so many? Because, for me, it gives me choices. For me, it’s less pressure.
I’m more apt to let go of “plan A” as being the only way to manage my days, because I have other ways to get my work done, if he has a crazy day or crazy afternoon sometime. He’s just a puppy, so he’s going to have those.
It’s much easier to stop resisting what is, over which I have little control (a puppy’s impact on my day), if I know I have other options. (In this case, my other options could be: Spend the time with him during the day, and work after dinner; get up earlier than I had been; use some weekend time; have him take a nap in his crate.)
So look backwards to reflect and understand what would work better for you, for the next time.
- Find a way (or a person) to remind you of what has worked in the past, because emotions will cloud your memory. (I used past experiences of post surgery care, family staying for several week’s visit, etc.). More on that in my next blog.)
- Visualize, practice, talk through your routine changes.
- Consider not only the practical side, but also how you’ll react to all this change, so you can take care of your psyche, too.
What changes are going on for you lately or do you see coming up? And how could you make them easier to manage? How do you keep track of the level of changes in your life?