Changes are coming
Change is inevitable.
We all experience physical changes as we move through different stages of our lives. Some of those changes – like my annoying stiff thumb – are a bit inconvenient while other physical changes are downright wretched. The circumstances we live with change periodically too.
For example, I moved to Prince George to finish a degree at UNBC and subsequently decided P.G. felt more like home than New Westminster. Big difference between P.G. and the Lower Mainland! Even our personal tastes and preferences change over time -- just ask all the high-heeled shoes sitting abandoned in the bottom of my closet.
Different people have different comfort levels with change. Some folks love new adventures while some like things to stay the same. I lean toward the latter, especially when it comes to furniture placement in my personal space. Imposed changes are often the most challenging to cope with because they often arrive in the form of unexpected crises. Anyone who has broken a hip or other major bone would agree with that. However, even changes that we deliberately choose to make and are thoughtful about implementing can be both challenging and stressful.
There are two ways of coping with change. One is to avoid facing it. Picture your childhood green peas-hating self leaving the peas on your dinner plate while you ate everything else, or picture your elder self putting off moving out of that three-bedroom home with the impractical yard and basement stairs.
Avoiding change takes away time and energy that could be spent planning a positive response and renders one unable to see any possible benefit in the change. It is said that “it’s an ill wind that blows no good” as there is usually something positive in every change. I’m not sure what benefit is going to come from my arthritic thumb, but I’m watching for it and I’ll keep you posted.
The other way of coping with change is making the best of it. Picture a child eating those nasty green peas first so the rest of the meal can be enjoyed in peace, or a senior choosing to explore city bus and HandiDart options before being told to relinquish their driver’s license due to a medical condition.
Last fall, I decided to add a cane to my winter wardrobe before snow and a repeat of the falls I experienced the winter before. My balance is gradually becoming more of an issue. I could deny that change, but I’ve chosen to make the best of it and so far the cane -- an attractive bit of diamond willow – has proven to be a great conversation starter.
Individual humans are not the only ones who deal with changes. The P.G. Council of Seniors is also in the process of change. We are closing our doors at 1055 Fifth Avenue at the end of this month and reopening in a new Victoria Street location in February (our phone numbers and e-mail addresses as well as our programs and services will remain the same).
I don’t know about the rest of our staff and volunteers, but the thought of packing up and moving makes my stomach a little queasy. My desk is going to be in a different office and my chair facing a different direction. Shudder! Coping with this particular change is going to be tough. I hope you’ll drop by and remind me to keep an eye out for the positive benefits of our location change.
Lola-Dawn Fennll is a young-at-heart grandmother, UNBC graduate and general manager of the Prince George Council of Seniors.