As picky as I am about my morning coffee (locally roasted, fair trade, made in a French press with plenty of organic half & half) the ritual of drinking it in my quiet kitchen is something I look forward to every day.
In fact, I kind of have a crush on creating little rituals, fun traditions and regular routines. I like knowing that there are certain things I can depend on no matter what's happening in my world. I have no idea what the calendar year will bring but every May for the last 19 years I have a potluck birthday party at Golden Gardens beach. My week may be bonkers but I know that every Friday afternoon I will remember how to breathe again at my favorite Restorative yoga class. Routine feels like an anchor in a shifting sea. The waves will come but I can find some steadiness in their midst.
Routine feels good, because like the seasons, relationships, the TV line-up and the balance in our checking accounts: things change. Every. Single. Day. As we get older there are changes that can seem particularly daunting. Perhaps it's a few grey hairs or some squinting at a menu, or, my personal favorite -- insomnia. Thank goodness we have options and tools to help us adapt. While I am not always a fan of pharmaceutical companies, I am a BIG fan of the occasional Ambien for my relentless insomnia. And those drugstore readers? There are some super cute ones. Grey hair? "Only my hairdresser knows for sure"…
Since we know that change is for certain, it is curious to me how often we brace against it. As a coach I often hear clients tell me that they "don't do well with change", so I think it can be helpful to differentiate between embracing change and accepting change.
Embracing something suggests comfort or even joy. I don't feel joyful after the 3rd sleepless night in a row. But when I am in an insomnia spiral I know there are things that can help. I can get my ass to the gym or a yoga class. Taking a walk with a friend feels great and I get bonus points for being in nature. And there is always that Ambien…
On the other hand, if I choose to flip the bird at my insomnia and drink red wine all night it only widens the abyss between me and harmony (read: no sleep happening). Not helpful. It has taken years for me to learn this in a meaningful way. Acceptance does not imply that I am happy about it. It just means that I have no interest in arguing with reality. To quote Byron Katie, "if you argue with reality you will only lose 100% of the time." So what's the point?
Change happens. Sometimes on purpose. Sometimes temporarily. Sometimes unavoidably.
What shifts the outcome is how you deal with it.
And that, my friends, is entirely up to you.