We encounter change everyday. Change in our environment and change in us. It varies in degree, visibility, and in terms of its effects. Some changes become embedded into our daily routines, some wear off. Other forms of change come with added weight, added responsibilities – more things to think about, to worry about, to look forward to, to smile about.
We deal with change by either resisting or accepting it – or, the third option would be to switch from the first option to the other. It’s either we accepted that change after initially resisting it – or vice versa.
The last quarter of 2010 presented a lot of changes, many of which was a challenge to deal with financially and psychologically. Looking back these past few months, I can say I did learn something about how I deal with change. Perhaps, as one gets older, it takes a longer time to react. There’s more time to think about the feasibility of things, one’s ability to sustain or keep up with responsibilities, our capacity to cling to sanity as we deal with these changes.
We decide what’s worthy of being included in our routine or budget. It’s not about how much one can save for a new insurance plan or investment or how much time one can devote for more responsibilities. It what we are willing to keep, what we want – what we think is worthy to become part that precious 24 hours we spend until we cease to.
With change comes adjustment and so will difficulty. One cannot expect to add something in our daily routine without causing some level of disruption in our routine. It’s when we deem these changes as worthy of all the difficulties we encounter that we indeed have accepted change. It’s not blaming one’s investment plan as a reason for not having enough amount for the usual dining, shopping, among other forms of entertainment.
This December, from the changes in the past quarter, an entry was included in my list of fixed costs. It took quite a while before placing that entry in that list. It took that while for me to accept the entry as such. I knew and have accepted that it will take some adjustment as I took in another consideration. Before I decided to move to this apartment, it took me quite a while to check if I can maintain the place. Thank God I was and is still able to (and hopefully will continue to do so). A fixed cost is relatively permanent. (Technically, the fixed cost varies in the long run but we’re taking about analogies in the short run context here.) It was something I thought would linger, something that I had prepared myself to adjust to. That no matter how difficult it may be to manage my finances or my time, it was something was willing to deal with – because I believed it would be all worth it. That whatever difficulty I may encounter would be for something I could look forward to in the future.
It turns out, I was too focused on how I was dealing that particular entry that I forgot one thing – it was not only me who was concerned with keeping that entry. For another, that entry may have belonged to other lists or perhaps was set in a relatively lower level of priority.
It was the third type of dealing with change – initial acceptance (sort of) and then the rejection afterwards. The biggest compliment one can give to another, is to set the other’s presence under his/her list of fixed costs – and keeping it there. It takes more than one person to do that.