Change is a mysterious creature. It can be both welcome and unwelcome at the same time. It can make us grow in ways we’ve never imagined and yet bring us to our knees. Ironically, it is one of the few things we are promised.
Learning how to navigate change with some grace has been one of the silver linings of living during a pandemic. We were quickly reminded of how little control we have in this life and how things can change in the blink of an eye.
The enormous change we have all experienced in the last two years is unfathomable. From the loss of loved ones, jobs, a sense of normalcy, and parts of ourselves, the world is barely recognizable as it once was.
We have learned how to juggle closed daycares, unrelenting short staffing, and the ever-changing COVID treatment protocols (and variants), as well as to navigate misinformation, war, and unimaginable suffering in our world. The changes around us have undoubtedly changed each and every one of us.
Resiliency is aplenty. Exhaustion is rampant. Compassion and grace have infiltrated like ninjas in the night for some and slipped away from others — like the day fades into the starry night.
Our mortality has been emphasized, as well as our humanity. We have grown in amazing ways we could never have imagined. Things we once took for granted are cherished and clung to tightly.
Change has imparted the wisdom that time is our most precious resource. Our energy is finite, and we must choose to change the things we can that do not serve us well. We are one decision away from changing our lives each day.
Change doesn’t have to be such a threatening intruder. It can instead be a hopeful reminder of what else is out there waiting for us to explore.
Michelle Owens is a palliative care physician.
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