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Cool Change: Approach with Expectation

The Facts of Life is a classic TV show from the 1980’s. This show lasted nine seasons! The transformation from a boarding school focused show to one exploring young women making their mark in the world, albeit a bit campy and sappy at times, gave the show its longevity. In season 7, the store, Edna’s Edibles, burned down. The ladies returned from summer vacation to find their business and home burned down. From those ashes arose a new concept store called, “Over Our Heads” along with a new character played by George Clooney (not too bad of a trade-off). Huge changes for the characters as well as for the audience to take in. Those many seasons were filled with many plot twists, character additions and subtractions and a couple of movie-length specials. Change was a primary constant for this series, without needing each change to be so dramatic and over-the-top (despite the fire in Season 7).

Maybe you haven’t had a “fire” change recently, but change is still affecting you. For instance, have you gone to the grocery store lately? Have you seen the prices? Budgets are blown out. That’s a change that seemed to happen quickly. And what did consumers do then in response? In 2022, 72% of consumers were sometimes or often buying less food. That tactic has economists forecasting prices falling in 2023 to counteract the reduction in demand. The market changed, we changed, the market is changing again. The path of this change has been scary for some. Buying less, even temporarily, has increased need and overwhelmed some food pantries in our country. (If you are looking to help with the food need in our country, visit Feeding America to find a local food bank)

Certainly, there are those extreme changes – an unexpected layoff, a serious illness, a messy divorce – which will alter the course of our futures, but by and large, many changes are more subtle. A promotion at work, for instance, might change our duties and responsibilities, but we are still in the same environment with familiar people. The change doesn’t pull the rug out from under us.

The fear of change is often influenced by the extremism we expect. The percentage of those changes that are life-altering are few and far between. But we still worry about what will change, how it will affect us, or what it might mean for those we care about. It can consume our thoughts, especially while we try to sleep! The tossing and turning sets us up poorly for that next day where we continue to fret over the change that might come. Here’s a little secret – change is going to come whether you want it to or not.

There has been much talk about resiliency as a skill over the past two and half years. With the COVID-19 pandemic, political unrest and racial inequities, we have been encouraged to dig deep and rise above. This resiliency, however, ought not to be put back into hiding. Allow your ability to weather the storms mean something greater than just the pandemic. Let that truth affect even the coolest of changes. You can handle more than you might think, but you also have resources at your disposal (more than ever) to help you manage any mental or emotional personal navigation needed. Wishing change would just stop or choosing to ignore it because you’re tired is not resiliency; it’s foolishness.

Mrs. Garrett, the pillar of The Facts of Life for almost 8 seasons, left a very successful run with Diff’rent Strokes in order to work at Eastland Boarding School. She left the comfort of the Drummond residence to step out into a change to expand her skills, to challenge her differently and to invest in another group of kids. She made the change with purpose. She led it with grace.

“There is nothing permanent except change” – Heraclitus. Absolutely, so approach your response with expectation.



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