change

Change #3,454

It’s early February and I think I just hit change 3,454 for this year. It might not always be change I contributed to. It could be change that impacts me. Maybe even change that hits somebody close to me.

I’ve written about change a few times over the years. One was a thought post about how much I like change back in 2020. Seems so long ago as it was pre-pandemic which is like 5 million changes ago, but who’s counting?

My desire and love of change is ongoing.  Change still holds true today, but I have decided that the changes I like more are full disclosure changes vs hidden changes. For instance if somebody was to be fired in a workplace, I could cope and adjust to said change but I would prefer to know it’s about to happen vs watching it unfold unexpectedly.

If my favorite coffee shop was closing its doors for business I could adapt and go elsewhere but I might want to wish my favorite barista good luck. This means I wouldn’t appreciate the move-out-in-the-middle-of-the-night option. I prefer the sign on the window that says “last day is Saturday.” Now the world isn’t perfect which means I may expect too much of others and how open they may be about sharing the news of change vs fearing the change itself.

Nowadays I have a beef with Starbucks. One location in particular likes to put a hand written not up on the drive through stating closed catch you tomorrow at odd times on random days. This irks me. An unplanned change. Something I didn’t account for nor that I can control. Without notice. Over the last several months my dislike of changes in this fashion irritate me more and more. I cope with change and my irritation subsides however I wonder how many others are bothered in the same way about change. 

My gym changes ownership not once but twice in a short period of time. Out with the old. In with the new. Change everywhere. The paint on the wall. The people in the four walls. A new fresh outlook, cool. Did I suspect change was on the horizon? Absolutely. Will the environment change? Most likely. Will the rules change? Probably. Will the name change? Yes. The list goes on. None of these pieces of change are directed by me but the impact is front and center. For me. For my sweat mates. For many, including the new and old owners. Time is needed for all to adjust. A period of grace for a transition. 

Out with the old or what was new. I’m with the new which was old. So crazy how change goes back and forth and sometimes back again. This is so my life. Front and center. Reaching for growth within the change. At least that’s what I hope change brings for others as it should me.

You see I learn as change surrounds me. From the whispers of those who don’t like change to the trailblazers who force change. For change is really the only constant in life. The days of the week change. The hours or minutes of a day are ever changing. The weather changes. Moods change. 

Funny I talk about change as I wrote about the subject about 13 months ago again. I learned how I like change but my daughter fears change in some instances. As she has spread her wings and sprouted this past year she has been more open to some changes but not all. And funny this week she was insistent on change but she had no power or control to garner the outcome of change she wished to see in her world.

In her athletic journey she hoped for change. She saw the need. She jockeyed for change but fell short. Such a life lesson. You see sometimes we want change but we don’t get the change we want or need. instead we are stuck with changes that others decided for us. Do we sit by and wallow in self pity or do we move ahead and bend, flex or pivot to see the change as an opportunity?

After 3,000 changes I learn to go with the flow. It might not be my change or vision but it was somebody’s. I need to embrace the change however it is thrust upon me. Suddenly or with notice. It’s a practice I’m working on mastering since I stated above I don’t necessarily like surprise changes.

Just another thought post to take out of the vault for others to ponder as they undoubtedly face change in their life. A passing of a loved one brings many changes. A new school or teacher brings change of a different kind. A new city bring a changes of many kinds.

Remember change brings opportunities. You must look beyond the change itself to see how change can truly benefit you.

change

The Alarm Went Off

It was a weird chirp sound. One I wasn’t familiar with. What is it? Where is it? The hunt was on. It was my countdown clock for 1095 days. Tucked in behind a few things on my closet shelf. Waiting for its special day to chirp. 

3 years gone by in a blink or two. Just like that 1095 days is a part of the history book. I blinked. A pandemic. A few birthdays. A cool countdown with a bunch of crud and coolness intertwined in those three years. All categorized in journals, online and in the vault. Many thoughts for future books but also many shifts due to environmental changes over time.

I certainly would not have thought three years ago that today would be what it actually is today. I guess my crystal ball is foggy at best. Worst plans, best plans, who lived, who died, and so on. Change is the the one word that keeps coming to mind when I think of these past 1095 days.

Changes of many kinds. Bend. Flex. Adapt. Reframe. The words that I seem to say over and over these days. Looking forward to the next 1095 days. Maybe I’ll have a comparison post when my alarm rings again. Maybe not. Time will tell but for now I’ll just say change is the only constant in life.

Welcome to 2022.

challenges, change

Letting Go

It’s hard to let go of something or someone you have invested so much time, money, mental energy on. A job. A significant other. A sport. A car. A pet. A treasured keepsake.

Unfortunately we all have to let go of people, things or even places for one reason or another. It can be hard. It will be hard. It is hard. Time doesn’t stop but healing of sorts begins. When you let go, there is a release. A release of pain, tears, anger amongst other emotions or feelings.

I am in a letting go phase of sorts. Letting go of things I don’t control. Letting go of things that consume my mental energy. Letting go of stress. Letting go of people who suck the joy out of me. Letting go of places with not so good memories.

Letting go is part of life. Writing for me helps with the letting go process. Sometimes it’s a journal entry. Sometimes it’s a calendar note. It could even be a blog post or a book chapter. As 2022 approaches I am focusing on mindset challenges in blocks of time in which I measure my progress. Some examples are below:

100 days of fitness

50 days of meditation 

25 days of travel

25 days of positive praise

22 days of generosity 

Now I haven’t decided if I am taking up all 365 days or if I’m putting a 2022 spin on my number or if I’m choosing the number 50 as that’s how old I will be in 2022. Or maybe I will do some combination thereof.

Either way I am focusing on me. My progress. My ability to tune out the people, the places, the obstacles of life that are weighing me down or stealing my joy. I’m letting go or cleansing in 2022.

change

The Next Chapter

As I began to put this post together the month of August was fast approaching. A turning point. A new chapter for many stories in my life.

A new school year. A fresh start for my youngest but sort of a restart to high school post-pandemic. So many emotions around a this particular subject after the past year and a half. New computer to get ready for the scheduled digital days and a proactive plan for any sporadic shutdowns. Imaginary pom poms for all the moments I want to cheer loud and proud for….but of course when you have a teen you would know that isn’t cool. To make myself feel good, I’ll use my imaginary poms!

Year 2 as a farmer begins without hesitation. Year one was fun. Full of learning, adventures and many firsts. Visions and dreams collided. Hard work was done. So much planning for now and the future. Broke the piggy bank a few times but you have to spend something if you want to build something. Off I go to leverage the earth to see what it will allow me to produce on the farm. I’ll say a few prayers and engage a few resources along the way. Forward progress on the farm is what farm life is about. And of course I want to tell everyone about it. Check out the last batch of flowers from the farm. They are absolutely gorgeous. See for yourself. #3splitzfarm

A new fitness regimen. August 1st marks a new venture for me. A slight step away from CrossFit, the sport I have enjoyed for many years. Taking a little break to do some customized programming to see how my body reacts. Maybe tone a bit. Maybe strengthen different muscle groups. Going to take 6 months to see how I do. I figure I have a 50/50 chance of being successful during this time. A coin toss basically. Will I decide I miss my sport? Will I miss my specific routine? Will I like my new environment? Will I train hard enough away from the constantly varied workouts of CrossFitting 5-6 days a week? Many unknowns for sure. One thing I know for sure is I’m responsible for my progress thus I need to kick my own ass at times.

I am sure I will share updates on my next chapters. Obviously, my life story has more than three chapters. This is just the three that I decided to highlight in this post. Those who know me know change is really the only constant in my life. While many fear change, I embrace change.
New year on the farm. 365 days of growth ahead. New school year for the youngest. 365 days of what should be amazing memory making opportunities. New fitness year. Half the year I will try something new. The other half will be planned based on my first half performance. The beauty of mapping your world. hundred points customizable by me, for me. 

Change fuels my soul. Change of reasons or seasons in a nutshell. Both reasons and seasons keep me chasing my dreams. Many won’t understand how change makes me tick harder faster stronger. Adaptation. Sitting in status quo anything is not my style. Onward. Upward. Forward. My choice is always bold never old. 

change, family

Beth and Liz

My full name, Elizabeth, can morph into many nicknames.

I began as Beth. That was my family name, my toddler name. My first name.

My parents loved to tell the story of going to first grade curriculum night. We had moved and changed schools. It was a few weeks into the school year and my parents went to meet the teacher. She asked my parents who their child was. My parents said “Beth.” My teacher said she didn’t have a Beth in her class. They put two and two together and figured out I was now Elizabeth.

Looking back, I wonder why I didn’t correct her. Was I not confident in that time of great change? Or was I ready to be someone new? Who knows what went through my 6 year old mind. But from then on, through elementary school up to 7th grade, I was Elizabeth.

Elizabeth followed me as I moved to Catholic school. But somewhere along the line, I started going by Liz to my friends. Again, I can’t be sure what my 13-year-old self was thinking. I’m pretty sure I thought Liz was cooler than Elizabeth. Honestly, who knows? But I knew the transformation was official when they started putting “Liz” on my report cards. I remember being surprised, but I went with it. Liz followed me through high school, college, and up into my twenties. Liz was a drum major and kind of emo in high school. Liz wore tights and steel-toed patent leather boots on non-uniform days. In college, Liz started drinking and smoking. Liz was a moody philosophy major. My Dad said Liz walked around with a little black could over her head.

After college, Liz was later a kindergarten teacher by day, a waitress / bartender by night. Liz walked 60 miles over three days to raise money for cancer research. Liz lost 100 pounds. Liz supported her parents through her Dad’s cancer fight. Liz met the man who would become her husband and the toddlers who would become her kids.

At age 29, I walked down the aisle and along with adding a new last name, I decided I would now go by Beth again. I just didn’t feel like a Liz anymore. Silly to some, I am sure, but my parents had never stopped calling me Beth, so maybe that’s why it felt like settling in to who I really am / was / would be.

In the nearly 20 years since I became Beth again, I’ve still continued to evolve. Beth is the mother of 3 now-adultish kids. Beth earned her PhD. Beth has gained 140 pounds, had a kid and lost 150. Beth quit smoking and drinking. Beth completed a half marathon and a triathlon. Beth has written books and owns a farm.

After a life with so many stages, there are people who call me by all different names. I have Elizabeth as my facebook profile since that seems to capture everything.

My father-in-law still calls me Liz most of the time. At a recent family celebration, he was passing the bottle of red wine around the table. When he got to me, he said “Liz, would you like some wine?” and for some reason I just thought, Liz would have, but Beth doesn’t do that anymore. Later that week, the conversation came up at work about going home to have a drink after a long day. The same thought occurred to me. Liz would have cracked open a drink right away. Beth is going to write or go for a walk or do something to make her feel accomplished. I just told my colleagues that I don’t drink but I’ll think of a good way to unwind. They stared with no response, then moved on from that topic.

Some will say that Liz was more fun than Beth. Maybe they are right. I guess it depends on what you think fun really means. Liz was definitely a whole lot more interested in pleasing others. Making other people comfortable. Liz also sought ways to escape herself, her thoughts, her confusion. Over time, Beth has become settled in swimming against the tide and approving of herself. Beth carries along her Dad’s encouragement to be smart, to stand out, to celebrate herself, and even to rail against gender stereotypes about what girls can do and be good at.

Beth feels settled in her skin more often that not, and that is something to celebrate no matter what you call her.