You may remember the two Friday 55s when I spoke of being Adrift and experiencing a Seismic Shift. If the last half of 2010 and most of 2011 were about hanging on to sanity by a thread and just gutting through seemingly unending trial a day at a time, 2012 began as a chance to rest a bit (Ok, the last couple of weeks of 2011 qualified too). And may I say how profoundly grateful I was for the respite. Of course, this year had its own set of not especially wonderful events what with scary breast lumps, major hurricanes, and a really nastily conveyed job termination. I also chose to leave my church in search of a new spiritual home. Though I didn't make direct mention here there was also a major upheaval with regard to a family relationship (no one in my nuclear family....just a major increase in radioactive levels with someone else).
On the positive side, I was cleared as being healthy and breathed a very grateful sigh of relief. We suffered nothing more than several days of inconvenience during the storm. I have found another job in an elementary school library which will begin in full swing after the New Year. Although I haven't settled into a new congregation I continue looking and at the same time a couple of women at my former church have reached out to me and our friendship has deepened and been a mutual encouragement. Through it all family members who have not previously been paragons of support have revealed a far better side of themselves. So there is a great deal for which to be thankful.
There is also the realization that many of the blessings would not have been realized were it not for the most unpleasant events of the year. Additionally, as I came to a point where virtually every familiar support was gone I was forced to evaluate what remained and decide what I was going to do about the state in which I found myself. I won't lie, I spent a bit of time wallowing in anger and sadness. When my standard modes of coping failed I was forced to re-evaluate yet another aspect of my life.
The great revelation of the year was to enjoy the view while adrift and to take the seismic shift as a chance to re-organize things into something more to my benefit. In other words, embrace the change. Now to many of you that may be a no-brainer and it may be your default setting. It ain't mine. I have spent four decades resisting change and seeking stability. It would be fair to say it's a pretty deeply ingrained pattern and viewpoint for me. It would seem the lessons of 2010/11 had to carry through and be added to the experiences of this year to reach the fruition of me being able to welcome change...even though I still had my knee-jerk revulsion to it.
Please understand this is in no way a boast because I still have a way to go in terms of regarding change as a possible agent of good but I've seen this year how both voluntary and involuntary change can be opportunities for both growth...and further opportunity.