Change and the What-Ifs

I’m not good at change.  Really not good.  I realize change is necessary for growth and that things would be incredibly boring if nothing ever changed.  Therefore, change is a necessary evil.  It might not even be evil, but it can sure seem like it when you’re bad at it!  Change is scary for me.  That’s when the What-Ifs come…  The What-Ifs are dark and nasty creatures that lurk in the shadows of my mind and reach out a pointy, clawed toe here and there in order to lure my thoughts toward the clutches of their prickly paws.  I do believe they’re cousins to the Monster Under The Bed.  Adults have looked under the bed enough times to have satisfied themselves that the Monster Under The Bed hides too well to be seen or moves on to haunt some other little kid once they have passed a certain age.  That’s when the What-Ifs move in.  They’re much more subtle and twisted in their methods.  You see, the What-Ifs know that adults try to rationalize and justify things away.  What-Ifs know how to poke holes in our flamboyant displays of reason and reduce our motivation for change to a pile of something that looks like shaving cream…and is just about as useful in the forward progress of change.  Good story so far, huh?  Okay, but let’s get serious for a moment, shall we?

Nobody that I know likes change unless they have some control over it or an outright hand in it.  I have an even harder time dealing with change because of my PTSD.  I do get a serious case of the What-Ifs.  Not that things can stay the same forever.  For example, I wouldn’t want the problems and routes set on the climbing gym walls to stay the same forever.  I could make do with that for a while, but eventually, I would want new routes and problems set!  The trouble comes when I think of the outcomes of change.  I worry that I won’t be able to climb any of the routes and problems, for example.  I’m a very black-and-white thinker sometimes (okay, most of the time), and my thinking tends toward the negative possibilities due to my past experiences and a good dose of human nature.  There’s also the genetic factor of curmudgeon-ism inherited from my dear father (I love you, Dad!).  I see it more and more as I age.  I’m finding out a lot of things as I age, but I digress.  I have a hard time with change because it takes me a long time to adjust to it.  I’m getting better at the process with my doctor’s help, and the help of my climbing buddies who know about my challenges with change, though.  My husband is pretty good at recognizing that change is difficult and usually only changes a few things at a time when he feels the need for change.  I enjoyed route setting so much because I had some control over the change – I was part of it!  I knew what was going on during the setting days and I got to leave a part of my creativity on the walls for others to enjoy.  It was a great thing in my world!  That’s no longer part of my world, now, unfortunately, but it was a lot of fun while it lasted.  Perhaps I can return to it someday…

Change is not innately bad.  It’s just different.  Different can be inviting to some, whose curiosity has been rewarded with good experiences, as mine used to be as a child.  I learned a lot from investigating change.  I need that motivation for change back, and climbing provides an inroad for that in my scarred adult life.  I’m very resistant to change in most other areas of my life, but in climbing, I like to experience new and different things!  This is yet another reason why climbing is one of the absolute best things that ever happened to me!!!  I can’t say enough great things about climbing!!!  I thrive when I climb, and that’s worth every risk inherent in climbing pursuits.  Truly.  Climbing has saved my life and I will continue to get better mentally and physically as long as I stick with it!!!  I’m going climbing today!!!  How about you?

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