I Hate Change

I've said it, what seems like, a million times.  I do not handle change well.  This past year has really tested me and while I can at least say I'm coming out alive and essentially unscathed (thank my lucky stars)...mentally I am a basket case.

Let's go back to March of 2014.  That isn't when the major changes happened but that's when they started creeping into my life.

March 2014 - I moved from the downtown office location of my then employer to a satellite office.  The new office wasn't bad but it was a change no less.  I liked the people there, I liked the new office, I even managed to handle the longer commute.  In no time I felt adjusted.  I think it might have helped that I had a new friend among coworkers and it smoothed things out for me.

July 2014 - We decide to enroll Lil Bit in preschool.  I have a hard time with this for two reasons...I feel weird about taking her from my sister, who had watched her since I returned to work when she was 3 months old.  I also feel weird because she's growing up and I'm not ready for this.  I'm not ready for the change in life, the change in schedule, the change in her innocence...etc.  You understand if you've ever been there.  It's the last time you'll enroll your baby in preschool...she's no longer a baby, she's a freaking PRESCHOOLER.  It's rough but I think I can do it.

August 2014 - Lil Bit's first day of school; there are festivities the entire week before, events, meetings with the new teacher, school supply shopping, much ado about preschool.  I cried like a baby when I dropped her off and had to turn around and walk away.  Heartbreaking.  I guess the nice thing in terms of change is that it wasn't necessarily a huge change in my schedule as my husband generally took Lil Bit 2 days a week to his parents in the morning and they took her and picked her up from school.  It was significant that she was not at my sister's for 5 days of the week.  But, there was a plus, let me tell you, I have waited ages to take my child (I thought about this even when I did not have a child) school supply shopping.  It, in some ways, got me through this week.

September 2014 - My sister informs me that she's moving to a different state.  I hold it together long enough to leave her house before I sob the entire way home.  She was there for me always...literally, physically there for me.  She consoled me, amused me, cared for my child, and in general was just there for me.  I panic for a bit but then go into "get things done" mode.  I make provisions for my daughter's child care which now means that she's going to Child Care 3 days a week and to the grandparents/school two days a week.  It is a significant change to my schedule but also a significant change in my venting sessions.  If not for my new coworker/friend...it could have gone bad...but I managed through it.  I struggled, felt depressed, came to terms, worked through it, and came out unscathed having finally gotten into a comfortable but revised schedule and routine by the end of October.  I am happy for my sister and her family...it has seemed to work out well for all.

December 2014 - I am laid off from my then employer.  I'm hit hard by this....come home to sob into Riley who sat there staring at me like I was nuts, after all, it was just a job.  This whole ordeal severely depresses me and I keep myself busy with sewing projects and Christmas events and volunteering at Lil Bit's school.  I didn't even read during this time.  Also, December depresses me in general because it's the end of the holiday season when things get packed up and festive decorations come down and we begin the Holiday Doldrums until May.  I really suffer silently through this.  I am fortunate to have found a new (and better in so many ways) job within one week of my lay-off.  I get a month off, essentially paid for, during the holidays to spend with my family, and to do things for my child's school.  In hindsight I see this and think of nothing depressing at all.  Just a lot of change.

January 2015 - I start my new job.  I also start teaching a class two evenings a week at SIUE.  Lil Bit starts taking a dance class.  It's a major adjustment to routine and schedule.  We struggle through but are settled by the end of February.

April 2015 - I decide to start taking care of myself again.  I exercise, I eat well, I take great vitamins (that I even promote to people (Advocare if you are wondering)).  I'm doing well...I feel the best I've felt in a long time.

May 2015 - The most devastating month ever.  Everything feels like it ends in May.  I finished the book series I had been reading since September 2014.  Change to a new book I suppose.  Final exams for my class end the first week in May and while I'm happy for it to be over, it's a change.  Lil Bit's first year of preschool comes to end.  I miss her teacher already.  Again, change.  Dance class comes to an end (the recital was today and Lil Bit doesn't think she wants to dance again...I kind of miss it).  Change.  Despite all this change and adjustment to schedules (even with the beginning of camping season and the opening of the pool, and just things in general) the one thing that is killing me over and over is the loss of Riley.  I miss him and I say it's heartbreaking and sometimes I wonder if that's going to be literal for me because the panic attacks I get thinking of him hurt my heart, and my lungs, and every single part of me as I gasp for breath.  I feel silly acting this way.  He was after all a dog...we expect the loss of them over our lifetime...it wasn't entirely a surprise, though far too soon.  I can't help but break each day as I see something that makes me think of my friend.  It's been the hardest change so far.

I feel ridiculous not being able to handle change.  Ridiculous.  It could be so much worse...trust me, I play the scenarios in my head often.  I'd talk them out but in some ways I've lost some of my best consolation between Riley, my sister, and my coworker/friend.  They listened when they didn't need to and still at least 2 of them do...just not face to face, it makes things a bit harder.  And, looking back to the past, I realize I do get over it; but right now, I just feel.....ridiculous, lousy, panicky, and lost just to name a few.  I hate this feeling.  I just go everyday for as long as I can and when the feeling overwhelms me, and it does, I just let it wash over me so I can get back up and move on out of the sludge as best as possible.  And hopefully, in a few months, when a million more changes have come at me...maybe I can look back to now and say, "If I made it through that, I will make it again"...and if not, I guess I should go school supply shopping?

In any case, it feels good to have gotten this off my chest.  Thanks world for listening.  My heart goes out to a few of my friends suffering through their own things.  One friend T. lost his long time girlfriend to a peculiar medical incident which leaves him and her entire family mourning the loss of a very special young woman.  My friend K. is losing her dad and while I wish there was something I could say to her to ease the pain...I can only just sit here and be ready to hug her when she needs it.  Lousy feeling indeed.  My friend C. lost a niece tragically in a car accident this week and her sister is struggling to stay alive...I've been thinking of them often.  And to a woman I only know professionally, I hope to never know your pain of losing a child.  Her son died this week, age 27, while exercising.  He was in generally good health.   Life is so fragile, I try to remember that this crappy feeling of mine could be trumped with real sadness of fear in the blink of an eye.  Hug those you love, tell them you care....never let a crappy mood get you so down you miss the good things.

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