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« What Are Today's Interesting Finds? - v9 | How to Enhance Change and Your Happiness »
Tuesday
Feb162016

Appreciating Genuine Joy With Life's Inevitable Changes

We’ve all heard phrases like...


“The only thing you can count on is change,”

 or

“Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.”


While we understand this intellectually, change, even though anticipated, can be challenging. Sometimes we have to work at noticing something positive in the changes that happen.

This past weekend, my husband and I spent Valentine’s Day with our daughters. Talk about change. Not that long ago, on a daily basis we saw, talked with, interacted with, and watched them grow. For our family, the stage of being together daily is over. The girls are now self-sufficient adults and living on their own.

As they create their lives and establish their patterns and roots, we have less family time. This is no surprise. It’s how it often is. This is an essential part of them becoming independent. However, even though it’s what we know would happen, there are times when I miss what was and the changes that have occurred. That’s normal.

Instead of feeling sad for the era that's passed, I focus on embracing the changes or moments that are happening now. Our daughter Allison, who was photographing me with our daughter Cassie, captured one of these celebratory moments. In those few fleeting seconds, Allison filmed the sheer joy I felt being with my kids. There was nothing unusual about the moment. We were preparing breakfast together. It was a familiar, yet much missed moment that used to be part of my daily experience – hugging, laughing, and cooking. I savor this simple, joy-infused moment.

 

 

Change is part of the human experience. Maybe you’re in the process of making changes right now. What is your experience with change? Do you find ways to seek joy along the way? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!

 

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (16)

There are some HUGE changes heading my way and the thought of what that will really mean is scary. I have a tendency to avoid scary things and have been avoiding these big changes for quite some time. I've found that the longer I avoided them the scarier they became. Now, I'm taking small steps toward those changes and I'm finding that while the thought of these changes is still threatening since I'm moving forward they're becoming less and less scary.

February 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

@Diane- Bravo to you for facing your fear head on! The unknown is always scary. And even if what we're leaving behind isn't good, it's what we know. How wise you are to take on those "HUGE changes" with small steps. Wishing you the strength and confidence you need to move in the direction you want.

February 16, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Some changes are intentional, and I relish those... like watching the teeth get whiter as I use my Whitestrips! Change that is unexpected or unwanted is what unsettles me. In these situations, I find I need to pause, listen, and regroup. I believe there is always a positive way forward, so the challenge is hope in the midst until the joy unfolds!

February 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

Wonderful post and wonderful moment your daughter recorded.
Change is innevitable and healthy. Humans tend to mantain things and behaviors for too long, causing impairment to adapt. Changing and flowing is imperative if you don't want to rot like stagnant water. I agree with Diane, scary changes are scary because they're dwelling into shadows, but once you brought them to light of action, they're more friendly and achievable than we thought.

February 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

My thought on change is there is always the potential for growth. My son started school last fall and I have seen him change and grow, experience hard times, then great times, and now starting his second semester with a renewed presence. It was hard to see him become so independent from me, but it has allowed me to grow as a person and in business knowing that those early years have given him the tools he is using to make his own way.
Love the clip of you and your daughter. I wish you many more small moments of joy.

February 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

@Seana- Unexpected or unwanted vs. intentional change! It's so true that our attitude towards them can be completely different. How wonderful that you allow regrouping particularly with unexpected change so that you can see the hope and find the joy. Beautiful!

@Nacho- Thank you so much. So many strong descriptions - "stagnant water," "dwelling into shadows," the idea of bringing the scary change to "light of action" to make it friendlier. I also like your philosophy that change is not only inevitable but healthy.

@Jill- Your comment makes me think about the letting go we do as parents as we help our children grow. This begins from the moment of their birth when they leave our bodies. And it continues on. It's essential, but sometimes hard to let them make the mistakes that are essential for their growth, not to manage all their decisions, and to have confidence in them and their choices. You're seeing the growth and independence of your son. Kudos to you for helping him discover the tools he needs to be at this point. I appreciate your good wishes. I'll be on the look for more joy-filled moments. Wishing you the same.

February 16, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Oh how I love learning from all these observations on change. I have come to truly embrace change as a natural part of growth. We can change and grow or be left behind and become stagnant. It's all about finding the JOY in change, like you did in this video.

How do you find joy when change is unsettling? It's in finding one small strength that you can embrace while undergoing change. It can be a character strength or strength in a skill that you use. You will be able to navigate the change in a powerful way.

February 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

@Ellen- A treasure you offered up...to tap into "one small strength" when feeling unsettled during the change process. I love that! Truly a great piece of advice for navigating change.

February 17, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

For me, trust has become my watchword when change is in the air....like a little over a year ago when my major clients downsized me. Bills still had to be paid, so I ended up working full time again. It was tough. I felt embarrassed and a failure that what I had come to love — professional organizing — was put on the back burner. The job hunt was very scary, but I kept trusting in my God who has never let me down. I had ONE response to all the CVs I sent out...and that company hired me. It was a job I'd never imagined doing: working in a call center. But for a lot of reasons (and some unknown at this point), it's where I'm supposed to be for right now. I trust in that fact. Have I given up on organizing? Heck no! Have I given up on My Wardrobe Genius? Heck no again! It's just not for right now. But watch out, world, I'll be back!

BTW, that video is an amazing embodiment of unadulterated love and is extremely uplifting.

February 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Terkanian

@Susan- Trust is one word...determination another. What an amazing story you shared...one of hope and a "do whatever it takes" attitude. Success is defined in so many ways...it's very personal. Yet when I read your story, I see success all over it. You've exercised flexibility and openness in the face of change. I suspect that whatever you're doing and wherever you are, you give 100%+. You haven't left, you've just shifted your focus for now, and that's OK.

Thank you for your lovely words about the video with Cassie.

February 18, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I thrive on change! Sure it is unsettling at times, but I find change to be exhilarating. There is a point of time where the change starts to occur that you have no idea what is going to happen. I feel like in that unknown moment you have the chance to write the story. You may not be able to control the change that is coming, but you can determine your reaction and attitude to an extent. The sudden changes that blindside you can be hard to deal with, but if we reflect on the change we may be able to find a positive or find a strength in ourselves that we did not know existed. Change really helps us to learn more about ourselves and those around us.

February 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Steele

I've never been fond of change and for many years I avoided it as much as possible. But as I grow older, and hopefully a little wiser, I'm learning to embrace change. I don't dread it as much and I try to find the good in it. I don't think we are meant to live without change, it's a natural process of life. We just have to learn to see it for what it is and try to keep the right perspective (as you are doing) and see what wonderful things are waiting for us on the other side of it. Thanks for sharing!

February 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLiana George

Yes, I've gone through my fair of changes too: some imposed on me, some by complete choice, and some by choice in response to a situation outside my control. The first ones are of course the hardest, but I do what I can to make the transition easier. For example, when a drastic reduction in income forced us to sell our house and move to a rental apartment, I purchased a beautiful Tiffany-style light fixture for the dining room with matching table lamps for the living room.

February 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

I guess letting go of what once was, and appreciating what now is, is kind of like focusing on what good things (stuff) you have, and not feeling compelled to accumulate more. Or being grateful for what's going well in your life as opposed to resentful about what's not going well. Any way you slice it I think gratitude is the key.

February 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHazel Thornton

Since my son was born almost 4yrs ago now, the theme of change has never been more prevalent. He grows and develops so quickly. When people ask me what's my favorite stage so far with him, I've learned to answer, 'This one." I know to savor the moments now as another change will be coming down the road before I know it! Thanks for sharing such an intimate moment of your family with us. Precious!

February 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Soboleski

What a great group! Thank you for your wonderful additions to the conversation.

@Jamie- I love your excitement about change. There have been very few people I know that embrace change in such a positive way. Love your change adjectives: thrive and exhilarating.

@Liana- It's so interesting to read your comment following Jaime's. Learning to embrace change in the fear of "dread" is a great perspective shift. Kudos to you.

@Janet- I love how you persevere with change and look for ways to make the transitions easier. Our attitude determines what our experience will be.

@Hazel- What a beautiful perspective you offer with gratitude focus for change. As you emphasized, it's not just for a change, but also having a gratitude awareness for the now.

@Sarah- I love your response to the "favorite stage" question! I completely understand that and felt the same way when raising our daughters. Children do change rapidly...in a blink. Savoring those moments is a wonderful way to live. Continue to enjoy the precious time of raising your son.

February 21, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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