Changes, by Barbie C.
David Bowie’s song, “Changes” relates to us all. As humans, we depend on constant. We depend on dependability. When all of a sudden within our comfort, something different happens in our routine or expectations of life. We become this cartoon character with hair up, arms, legs up and mouth wide open and thinking, WHAT??? Before the beginning of our earliest memory, our lives were constantly changing. So, why is it that as time goes on, we are less in acceptance of change? Is it we had enough changes since our infant days to adulthood or do we just want to stay with our current status and not evolve from the opportunity change provides to us all?
In 1999, my school principal dropped the bomb of the upcoming change to education – the dirty acronym, NCLB Act. During one of our weekly staff meetings, the entire teaching staff was silent (for a change) as Dr. Dyer was notifying the urgency and importance how this affects every teacher within the school system. She made it a point to the lower elementary levels that will not be ‘tested’ on this new scale that they are the one’s building the foundation of each students’ success and will be accountable as well.
How will we teach? A change to how students learn? Why? We like our current way! NO!!!!
As these thoughts are scurrying through our professional minds on how a government has the right to make us change, Dr. Dyer read excerpts from the book, ‘Who Moved My Cheese?,’ by Spencer Johnson. This book helps people to understand the four typical responses humans react to change in a perspective for us to relate to characters that are not realistic. In other words, making it entertaining as well as educational.
The passages Dr. Dyer read were very pointed for all of us to understand that somebody moved our cheese. Deal with it, accept it and continue to move on. Move on? Yes, in a manner of acceptance and make it fit your path of the maze to find your cheese (comfort).
My cheese has been moved many times over. Each a blog on its own, I could not write about them all here without paying a fortune for the space I would use! In the past 20 years, I have experienced 13 hurricanes, two tornadoes, and 1 flood. I have lost three homes as a result of natural disasters. I have also lost several family and friends to deaths from various causes. My son suffered 2nd and 3rd-degree burns from an accident the resulting in multiple surgeries. I have borne the loss of jobs and the displacement of living (16 moves in 10 years).
As a result, I have PTSD from ‘Changes’. Recently, my cheese has been moved AGAIN. Through the years, I decided to give up on NCLB and then, Common Core and leave that profession. Now I am in the hospitality business. I am a manager of 40 employees for a very respectable hotel known globally. This management position is not much different than managing a class of 25 children. The difference? My employees no longer have to take a state exam to judge my capability nor theirs.
Recently, the hotel sold and is under new hospitality management investment and now franchised. A new culture of executives came on board from Texas and Florida. (Both states I lived in during my turmoil of trying to find home ten years ago.) I know the difference between the cultures and respect it. I also know the deer in the headlight look of those employees feeling invaded from these ‘different’ people…. ‘different’ changes.
I hold my head up high and walk proudly, with a smile, through all of these changes over the past two weeks. This is my opportunity to shine and show my stamina and hope for growth. I did, for the most part, for the beginning of the week. On what is my Friday, after putting in 11 hours a day for five days, I lost my steam, my stamina. I was no longer strong. I did my tasks, performed my best to all but my boss. For the first time, I told him, I must go for a walk to unwind. I was winded. Better yet, I was wound.
I have held my head high and impressed many; including myself with my stamina and positive attitude on
life this past year. Is this my testing ground? When and where can I crumble and cry over another change? Who do I talk to about my feelings? I have two cats and a 12-year-old son. I have several mirrors and this computer. I chose the computer.
Why? Because someone moved my cheese, and because I am Chronically Awesome.