The End Of A Moving Walkway

Just as you’re becoming comfortable with this carefree spot, WHAM!, something comes along to knock you off track.

Hopefully there have been times in your life when you feel as though you’re sailing along, not a care in the world, everything is hunky dory and going swell. Just as you’re becoming comfortable with this carefree spot, WHAM!, something comes along to knock you off track.

It could be something in your personal life, with your family or friends, and you find yourself struggling to “leave it at the door” when you go to work each morning. Or it could be something that has happened at work, either an upsetting incident, a run-in with a coworker, a misunderstanding with the boss, and conversely you struggle to “leave it at the door” when you return home each night. Wouldn’t it be nice if life had a way of warning you that the easy sailing you’re doing is about to come to an abrupt end, that you are about to hit rough water? (If we did get a warning, would we really heed it, and prepare for the rapids?)

Getting off track

The one thing we can always count on in life is change. Well, death and taxes are a sure thing, too, but we’ll avoid those topics for the time being. When people say they “hate change,” they really mean they hate bad change, or at least change that is “bad” in their humble opinion. Face it, if it’s good change, like winning the lottery, getting a raise, a new romance in your life, then we don’t complain too much about those things…we like good change! So we are simply adverse to the type of change we don’t like. It doesn’t matter, it’s still going to happen, so we might as well get used to it. We might as well try to make the best of it, and continue moving forward. After all, we never know when we’ll hit that smooth water again and be sailing along happily.

It seems some change happens to us, without us really expending any energy to make it happen. Again this can be nice if it’s good change, but can really throw us off course if it’s bad change. This is change we didn’t expect, didn’t want, and now have to deal with. Yet if these types of changes never came along, not only would life be pretty boring, but we also wouldn’t be faced with learning more about ourselves and the world around us, and finding within us those reserves of specialness that come to the surface when we are forced to deal with change.

We discover we are resilient, we are adaptable, we are capable of dealing with issues we may have never thought possible. We uncover special parts of ourselves that we would never meet otherwise, and we are better for it. This is where the feeling that “things happen for a reason” really comes in handy. Even if we don’t understand it at the time, and we just struggle to make it through the change event, we can look back and be able to see why it was important, why it had meaning in our lives.

Often times, we are the makers of change in our lives. Sure this is great when it’s good change, when we can make alterations in our working or living conditions that makes us more comfortable, happy, or self-sufficient. Yet we also choose change that is “bad,” but in this case, it’s not so much “bad” as it is “hard” or difficult. This is change that results in us going back to school, moving for a job opportunity, bringing a needy family member in to live with us, that sort of thing. We can steel ourselves against this type of change, and identify that we are pulling up our reserves to make it through. This can end with immense satisfaction, as we discover again our depths of resiliency and resourcefulness.

These are the types of things I ponder while I make my way across the country, and indeed the world, traveling and helping veterinary professionals. As the moving walkway in the airport announces, “You are coming to the end of the moving walkway; please prepare,” I realize that we are not often afforded that warning in life, yet somehow we make it through change.

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