Easter is here and it has been a very busy month at both work and home with lots and lots of change to deal with at the moment. Change is a complex concept because it is everywhere and constant, yet we all find different struggles in different forms of change. I have been through many different challenges especially with my history of poor mental health but I like to think I have learned a lot about coping with change over the years.
My career in programme and project management has been all about dealing with change and I have particularly enjoyed the opportunities to deliver projects that help others dealing with change. This month, I am looking at a huge change myself with a new job in a new place of work with lots of new people to meet and new things to learn. Moving jobs is one of the biggest change challenges I have faced and this is my second in less than 12 months!
At home, we are looking at changing a lot as we come up to one year since our wedding! Kelly and I recently sat down and put all of our remaining wedding and honeymoon memorabilia into scrap books which was a lovely poignant thing for us to do as a couple but it was also great reminiscing about the little details. It was the best day of our lives but just taking time to remember small details. For instance, I took the car to a car wash for a full valet last week and during the clean, they managed to dig out some confetti from under the passenger seat! Confetti that had been loitering for almost a year, just waiting to be found...
Speaking of finding things, I was recently clearing out some old boxes from my mother's attic and discovered some of my old writing materials which had been stashed away for years. They included a printed manuscript of the first completed novel I ever wrote. I was about nineteen when I finished it and a friend mocked up a front cover which still looks amazing nearly 20 years later.
I remember that story well because it required a number of major rewrites. I finished an early draft (start to finish) with a specific concept - I won't embarrass myself writing about it - but I had a panic. I went to watch a movie with friends in the cinema - one very successful Hollywood blockbuster - which stepped all over my concept. So I went back to the drawing board, changed the concept and managed to salvage large parts of the writing with a slightly different plot. Then I watched a second movie, an even more successful Hollywood blockbuster...which sort of copied major aspects of the rewrite! Ironically, the two movies shared something in common; the same Executive Producer (I was convinced he had hacked my home computer or something).
So after a second rewrite, I lost my enthusiasm for the project as I had strayed further away from the original story I wanted to tell. And it ended up in a box in an attic for years. Now I look back on it and think through the changes the story went through. The story changed but each change was designed to improve it so I can only reflect on the journey as being a positive one. It is the same as changing jobs, changing personal circumstances, changing anything in your life...you accept that change is part of life and take it in your stride. Make change your companion not your adversary.