Change Ahead

It’s quite the dichotomy: As humans (just like all other animals), we need continuity, structure, discipline, and routine, though we crave constant change. “If everything was always the same,” we tell ourselves, “it would drive me crazy!” Yet when thing are constantly in flux, we’re just not equipped to keep up with it all the time. Instead, against our own reasoning, we find a sense of sanity in the mundane and routine. I often think of Cesar Milan (The Dog Whisperer) when life changes come up, stressing how important it is for “rules, boundaries, and limitations” in a dog’s life in order to have a healthy (and sane) existence without mauling someone’s face off. Apparently, we need those same “rules, boundaries, and limitations” in our lives to keep things balanced, while we are constantly bombarded with changes that pop up in our daily routines. It’s amazing there haven’t been more Zombie attacks with people mauling someone’s face off than there have been.

And different things can contribute to that ever-continuing chain of change – when co-workers move on to other jobs or retire, when you get laid off, getting a new car (and scratching the hell out of it), moving to a new apartment, buying a house, or even when dealing suddenly with a serious illness. All these things – though some may seem uncontroversial – have a tendency to pull the rug right out from under us. While we’re sitting on the floor looking around us at what used to be our “routine,” we find that all we can say is, “Awe, CRAP.”

As you can imagine, the doglettes are very sensitive to change. The slightest thing out of the ordinary (even if it’s just a weekend when we’re home all day with them) will set them in a tail-spin of confusion.

What are you doing home? You’re not supposed to be home? Why did you take me out of my kennel? What is wrong with this day? Nothing feels right! I can’t eat! I’m not hungry! OMG! I just pooped on the floor and I don’t know why!

It’s amazing how quickly our routines can be knocked out of orbit – enough to affect our lives and even our health! Years ago, you never (or rarely) heard of Shingles which can be brought on from stress. Now, there are more commercials on all the major network television stations than there are for Erectile Disfunction! Yet even more amazing is how long it takes to get us back on track. And trust me; the doglettes are no different than we are. After that initial “Awe CRAP” moment, we can immediately assess where we are in order to begin adjusting to what is, rather than clinging to what used to be. The longer we cling to what used to be, the longer we are affected by the change, and continue to experience the stress our true nature abhors. The next thing you know, you’re pooping on the floor instead of in the yard like you normally do.

When change happens, we’d do best to embrace it as our new normal. This we can do in our own lives, and we can actually find a peace in it. The longer we fight against it, the longer we’ll be cleaning up poop by the back door.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a pile to clean up…