Sometimes, how you deal with change is more important than the change itself
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Photo courtesy of gguy cropped

Change: that silly six-letter word. It is scary but exhilarating; peaceful, but nerve-wracking; happy, but sad. It’s letting go of the old and accepting the new. Changes occur every day. It’s how you handle these changes that determine your ability to merely survive or really thrive.

If you know me, you know I don’t sweat the small stuff. Small, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants changes are no big deal; they come with living and breathing the aquatics profession. I have coached individuals in swimming and lifeguarding for a modest 21 years. You have to make quick, life-altering decisions in the blink of an eye, and be able to work within a controlled chaos. That is my specialty.

However, if anything life-altering occurs, oh boy! You can find me in my bed curled up in the fetal position, probably napping my day away. This year has been a transition year. I slightly suspected it leading up to 2016, but it hit head-on in February. The biggest change so far was taking a new management position with a local community center. It has given me opportunity to work with some absolutely amazing new people, but there are definitely new stressors involved.

Along with these amazing new opportunities, I am also trying to complete working with a majority of my clients before the full transition to the new position occurs in June. This has led to working 65 hours a week. For some—and I respect the heck out of this tremendously—a 65 hour work week is normal and expected. For me, the transition from owning my own business to ‘working for the man,’ has been exhausting. Up until this point I had been able to lead a leisurely life, working 30 hours a week and planning my next vacation. For the next few months, I am only home to rest and devour a home-cooked meal.

I believe our attitudes are make or break when it comes to change. People ask me how much I enjoy my new position or if there has there been a big difference in the amount of responsibility given. I respond, with a smile on my face, “Yes. Yes, to both of those questions.” Even though I am now in charge of a swim instructor crew of teenagers and adults, I try to keep the stress away from my face and my voice. What’s that saying? “Show no weakness.” I’m afraid if I begin to show exhaustion and/or unhappiness, it will cross over to my new employees and my current clients, and it will sap their lovely, good-vibing energies. That is the last thing I could possibly want for my people.

Even though there are still days I want to hop into my pajamas, watch a movie, eat a pint of ice cream, and pray all the emails and phone calls stop, I know that is not going to happen any time soon. Part of the reason I took this new position is because I needed change in my life. I needed something different to challenge my mind and body. I needed to know that I am capable of learning more. Sometimes, as people, we are afraid of change because of the consequences, good or bad, that come with change.  I constantly write about stepping outside of your comfort zone. Every once in a while, I get to practice what I preach. This is one of those moments.

My suggestion when change happens upon you is go with it. Even in the most stressful situations, there is always a positive at the end. I know, come September, I will have the consistency I thrive at, and life will be back to an even keel. Until then, I’m going to keep rolling with the changes and smiling through it all.

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