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Life Changes and the New Year

Change, it is the one thing we can count on and if we can’t manage the change in our lives, we get anxious, frustrated, angry and even hopeless. I have been thinking a lot about change, not just in our organization, but also in my private life.

This year has been a big year of change for me. For the first time in over 30 years, I acquired a roommate. A few years ago, my mother and I decided that we would become roommates when she felt she needed more assistance in her home. For a while we batted around me moving to Hartsburg to live with her. Then we came to the conclusion that we would both be better served if she moved in with me in Sedalia. So in June 2018, she sold her house and moved to a house we bought in Sedalia. I sold my house in August and now we live together.

We are both fiercely independent women with strong opinions and likes and dislikes, so we did not make the decision about living together lightly. We set ground rules around our finances, we talked openly about my lack of patience (I can be a bit stern), and her tendency to treat me as if I am 14 years old. We also agreed to get a house big enough so we could each have our own space, when we need it.

So what have I learned from this past year? First, I have learned that change is more difficult for someone who is 81 years old than it is for someone who is 56 years old. Second, I have learned that if I just take a moment to check myself when I get frustrated, I can most often be more compassionate and caring. Third, I really enjoy living with my mom. I feel as though I have been given the gift of time with her that I lost when my dad died.

These are lessons I am taking in to my work as well. Change is more difficult for people who have done things the same way for many years. Learning to exercise patience and encouragement is more important that communicating frustration or anger. I am also learning to check myself when I get frustrated with the pace of change in our organization. We are all better served when we realize that little bit of care and compassion goes a long way with each other and the people we serve. Finally, remembering just how grateful I am for working at an organization that changes lives and changes communities. I am grateful for the people I work with, and I am so grateful for the people I work for.

These are the lessons I will take into the next year. What are the lessons from 2018 that you will take into the New Year?

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