Change Happens

Elliot Community Hospital

In 1970 I began my education to become a registered nurse. I went to a three-year diploma school, Elliot Community Hospital School of Nursing in Keene, New Hampshire. I became aware for the first time of the resistance of people to change. In the last year of school, a new hospital was built; Cheshire Hospital. It had all the latest equipment and technology. There were single and double rooms. There was air conditioning. It was new and amazing. Three months before I graduated patients were moved and the old hospital closed.

You would think that everyone who worked in the old hospital, which had been in existence since the late 1800’s, would have been excited and looking forward to moving into a hospital with the latest of everything.

The old hospital did not have air conditioning. I remember taking care of patients and then going to find a fan to cool off. Often patients were situated in the hallways with curtains around their beds as there was not enough space to accommodate all of those in need of hospitalization. It was archaic.

Change was in the air. Many of the nurses who worked in the old hospital were hesitant and angry about the move. They were used to where they worked and were resisting change. They didn’t need all the new things at the new hospital. Things worked just fine where they were. They feared the unknown.

The student nurses could not figure out why these nurses were so hesitant. We knew it would be a lot of work to move everyone, yet we were looking forward to the shift to the new hospital. Who wouldn’t want to be in a brand new building with the latest of everything? We were excited and looking forward.

About two years ago WordPress, the host site for my blog announced that it was going to gradually change the editing program, from a Classic Editor to a Word Block Editor. I was given the chance to learn how to use the new editing system. They had video tutorials. They continue to offer online support. I have been resisting this change since they announced it. I didn’t have time to learn it. I liked the old system. Why change something that is working? Oh my, I sound like those nurses at the hospital.

When did I become resistant to change?

I have been putting off learning the new format until I had to change. That change came with my last post. I can no longer access the Classic Editor. I have no choice now, but to learn this new format. I am struggling to learn. I know I will succeed (look at what I am doing now), yet it is a struggle. I am busy watching tutorials. I have been on chat with the WordPress agents. They are patient and knowledgeable. It helps to know I am not alone in my quest to learn this new system.

Not only do I have to learn a new editing system but the theme I use for this blog is also no longer available and it has been suggested that I change the theme before I can no longer use it. I am glad that I am in one place and have the time to sit and learn all these new ideas. Expect changes in the look of my blog. Things might look different for a while until I get everything figured out.

 Insight into change teaches us to embrace our experiences without clinging to them — to get the most out of them in the present moment by fully appreciating their intensity, in full knowledge that we will soon have to let them go to embrace whatever comes next.

Insight into change teaches us hope. Because change is built into the nature of things, nothing is inherently fixed, not even our own identity. No matter how bad the situation, anything is possible. We can do whatever we want to do, create whatever world we want to live in, and become whatever we want to be.

All About Change by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Change is a part of my life. Change is part of your life. Change is a part of everyone’s life. We may not always recognize when it begins to happen. We may resist it. We may fight it but change is guaranteed to happen.

I have experienced a lot of change since I started this blog (look at the archives, they are an interesting read). As I look back at my life, change has been consistently a part of my life. I continue to learn that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible. Change is inevitable. I have not always embraced change when it has arrived on my doorstep, yet it is there.

Today I am embracing change and learning about this new way of editing. I would like to think that this past pandemic year (The Great Pause) has allowed me time to discover and explore change. I hope to come out of this time a better and more complete person, and more accepting of change in my personal life and in the world around me.

Looking for Acts of Kindness, Faith & Hope

At a time when life has changed and we are all learning to “shelter in place”, I have been looking for the good that continues to reveal itself. I have been looking for hope and faith.

Several times a week I take a walk around the neighborhood, and I find the innate goodness of people all around me. As we walk by each other, at a safe six-foot or more distance, people say hello, give a wave and a smile before we continue. I wonder in our hurried world pre-Covid 19, how many would be taking the time to say hello before moving on.

On my walk yesterday I found a neighborhood art gallery that someone had created next to the sidewalk. It is a unique way to encourage creativity and share it with the neighborhood. All ages are welcome. One simple act helps each of us feel a bit less isolated and alone. It helps foster a sense of community in a neighborhood.

Social Media helps me not feel isolated in this novel time. Facebook has helped me stay in contact with my friends scattered throughout the United States, Canada and further abroad. The Coronavirus posts I look at occasionally, however,  if there is news of family and friends I read it. It is a good reminder that we are all still out there in this big wide world. I am also enjoying all the funny videos and cartoons people are posting. It is good to laugh a little every day.

Via the Nextdoor App, I am reminded of the generosity of others. People can be generous in unique times. If someone makes a plea for hand sanitizer, paper towels or toilet paper, Nextdoor neighbors respond. people are shopping for the elderly. Yesterday someone was looking for a cap and gown to borrow so she could take photos of herself for her canceled graduation from college. Within the first few minutes, she had over six offers. When humans slow down and find themselves in unique situations they exhibit kindness and thoughtfulness that are often forgotten when we are hurriedly moving from one place to another. And…those folks on Nextdoor are still keeping an eye out for the ever-elusive Elsie the cat.

My Great Niece, Arden

Zoom, a meeting app, offers me the opportunity to say hello to my sisters, welcome a new great-niece into the world, take a Scottish Dance class with other dancers from all over the world, practice yoga with one of my favorite yoga teachers, and so much more. Zoom, Facetime and other communication apps, allow my world to remain large.

I do not need to look far for an example of generosity. My friends, Cynthia and Ward have opened their home to me. They have opened their arms and invited me in. I have my own bedroom and a big, real shower. And the view from my bedroom is lovely. We have been getting along well and enjoying each other’s company. It is good to be with others. Even I would grow tired of my own company.

I will continue to search for the unique in this very unique time. I am grateful for continuing signs of faith and hope small and large. I am encouraged by the kindness of strangers and friends. Today I am grateful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope Changes Everything

Wow, January has been a busy month. Besides work, hiking, home repairs and improvements I have also had my friends from Chicago and Florida visiting. And it has been fun.

Helen

Helen

Helen arrived early in January. It was so good to see her and spend some time with her. Our lives have intertwined for many years. About 3 weeks after Jim died Helen came to town for a week. Friends are amazing in knowing just what you need. At that point her visit was just what I needed. This January, once again, her visit was just what I needed.

HOPE

One of our discussions struck a chord with me and I have been pondering this since her visit.

Hope can be defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Or, to want something to happen or be the case.

Hope is something we all need. It is part of our every day lives, even though we don’t specifically address it. Sometimes it helps me get up in the morning. Sometimes it helps me to go to bed at night. Hope is a part of my everyday life. Often it surfaces and I don’t even know it is there.

Helen’s mom is in her late 80’s. MJ is not able to live at home and has not lived there for many years. Until this year they have been able to keep MJ’s home. Early on they would take her to visit and she would travel from room to room and review her treasured collections. That house I believe, represented hope for MJ. It may have given her daughter hope as well. No one knows what the outcome of any single event in our lives will be. Hope lets us know there are options.

Jim on Our Property

Jim on Our Property

IMG_0136

Spring on my property

When Jim was diagnosed with the metastasis of his cancer the first thing he said to me was “Let’s  sell the land in Colorado” (We have 45 acres of bare land and we were planning to build and move there). I told him no,I did not think we should worry about that and if it became necessary I could take care of it later. I am glad I told him this. I believe that the land symbolized hope for a positive outcome. Although that did not happen, I recognize now how important it was for both of us to hold on to that property and know there was more than one possibility there.

Now hope helps me see the future. Hope I believe is part of the grieving process. When the days are not so shiny and positive hope helps me get through those moments, knowing that the next moment, hour or day may shine a little brighter. My friends and even strangers also help me hold hope in my heart. It is because of the love and support and caring of others that I am able to lift myself back up out of those darker places and move forward with my life and know there are unknown possibilities ahead for me to explore.

My days have been much brighter since about a week or so  before Christmas. Hope helps me to see a future with possibilities. It helps me to grow and expand. When I am feeling sad or low hope certainly can help me remember to call someone or take a walk and get myself going again. Hope also helps me see beyond undefined fear that has become more prevalent since Jim’s death. Hope pushes aside fear and I am glad that hope is the stronger of the two emotions.

Hope is always part of my adventure into life. It has been since I was young and it will be until I am too old to move any more. But you know, even then the face of hope just changes. It will be always a part of my life.

How does hope affect you? I would love to have my readers share this with me.