Come on Vern, Change

Come on, Vern, Change!

My mother is 80 years old. I guess change is harder at 80 than it is at 50, than it is at 44, than it is at 30, than it is at 5.  However, I do remember a young child I was babysitting, looking at me with puppy dog eyes, tears flowing like rivers saying, “It’s so hard to be good!”  Do you think it’s just hard to change at any age? Maybe we just get sick of changing as we get older. Or we figure, we are who we are and everyone ought to just like us this way or get out of our lives?

I’m beginning to think this is what is going on—most of the time. I get it that the neuro pathways of the brain have less connectors as we get older. But that really is for learning new things… things like languages and sciences. Are those pathways really markers for behaviors such as barking at someone instead of speaking kindly, or making the chicken in the portable oven instead of the large oven, or not leaving dirty clothes on the washer when I have a client. (Oh, this really isn’t about me…)

I’m a pacifist. I want everyone to get along. Because I am that, I have made it a practice, starting when I was the fifth child of six, to make amends for everyone. I was the tri-angulator who got in the middle of everything to try to make things right. In fact, when my dad was beating the shit out of my sister, I actually got in the middle of it and took her beating at 16 and got us both kicked out of the house. It was then we moved in with our mother after not really seeing her for 6 years. Those were tough times. I consider change easy now.

You think I would have learned then that tri-angulation wasn’t a good thing. But I kept seeing myself as a hero for many years. I’m the fixer. I’m the one everyone comes to, to make things right. Isn’t that grande? Isn’t that great?

Until one day, I broke!

Yes, the fixer isn’t a good thing at all. It’s the target of everyone. He or she’s the one everyone puts all the burden on to do their dirty work. And if you see yourself in this scenario, it’s time to STEP BACK AND PUNT.

That’s right. See what life looks like when you get off of the playing field and let everyone make his or her own decisions and tackle his or her own battles. You will twist and turn and writhe for a few months, but you will get over it. And everyone around you will learn NOT to come to you with his/her problems anymore. And you, my friend, will have some peace. As I now do.

Yes, change is hard, but it can be done, at any age. You take a look at your life and realize that you have the right to NOT be everyone’s kicking post.

And so it is!


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