The Beauty of Change

Any type of change can be difficult, painful, uncomfortable: loss of a loved one, a move, a new job, a change in a relationship, a medical diagnosis. This morning, however, I am reflecting on changes that accompany the process of growing old which is difficult, painful, uncomfortable.

I’m now buying concealer in bulk; soon a semi will be backing into my driveway for the delivery. Any product that says “rejuvenating” is my friend, and my hairdresser, Kim, and I are engaged in the valiant battle against the gray that is fighting to be front and center in my hair. Presently, I’m working on getting up and sitting down without the accompanying vocals.

And then there are the scales in the bathroom. I have learned a few tricks to get the most “accurate” reading. I usually weigh myself after showering so that extra dirt and oil are not figured into that glaring digital number. Here are a few other important tips I have discovered.

  • Be sure your skin is completely dry: hair, skin, all the nooks and crannies in your ears, under your fingernails. Water is heavy.
  • Blow your nose, pee, remove the wax from your ears, and make sure you have exfoliated everywhere.
  • Just think about how much all that hair all over your body must weigh.
  • Spit out all the saliva in your mouth. Spit rather than swallow, which simply moves the weight from your mouth to your stomach.
  • Clean the lint from your naval.
  • Scrape under your fingernails and clip those cuticles.
  • Exhale before stepping on the scales.
  • Wear nothing whatsoever. You are only weighing your birthday suit.
  • If you have tattoos, you can deduct 3 pounds to your scales’ proclamation. Ink is heavy.
  • If you have a cold, you can deduct 3 pounds. Mucus is heavy.
  • If you have already eaten, you can deduct 5 pounds. Food is heavy.
  • If you drank something with your food, deduct 2 more pounds, unless it was chocolate milk. Then, you can deduct 3 pounds.
  • Make sure the room is not too cold to avoid the additional weight of goose bumps.
  • Likewise, make sure the room is not too warm to avoid the additional weight of sweat; it’s like water and weighs a LOT.
  • While standing on the scales, raise your eyebrows, open your eyes wide, and smile. You don’t want anything adding more downward pressure.
  • Pray before getting on those scales; give all your burdens to Jesus.

Sometimes, I work so hard to fight, rationalize, or bemoan changes in my life that I miss the beauty of those changes.

At the end of each school year as a teacher, I would mourn the end of my little family units as my students would move into their junior year of high school. By the end of our year together, my students and I had somehow created a synergy unique to our class. For me, I had seven separate families each year! I knew that once “my kids” moved on, I would never experience the same feeling I had when we shared those 85 minutes or so 2-3 times each week. As I would watch them walk out my door for the last time in May, it was difficult to remind myself that there would be a fresh opportunity to do it all again next year with new students.

The beauty of returning to school year after year for all those years is that I am presently reveling in the benefit of having interacted with those young people. My former students are now physicians, lawyers, authors, teachers, mechanics, architects, police officers, military service members, etc., and I remain a tiny part of their history, and they are part of mine. My 26 years of yearly change was much more valuable than the pain of saying goodbye every single May.

This time of year, we mourn the loss of days at the pool, vacations, family barbecues, dining in fresh air, and many other sun-blessed, warm weather activities. Thankfully, this seasonal transition brings cooler temperatures and all those comforting, warm dishes that chase away the chill in our bones. As if to help our summer-lovers through the transition, God brings us the rich autumn colors that remind us that there can be beauty in change if we just stop dwelling on the falling leaves and cloudy skies.

I am reminded to welcome change with a grateful heart and discover its beauty.

 

He has made everything beautiful in its time

He has also set eternity in the human heart;

yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

 I know that there is nothing better for people

than to be happy and to do good while they live.

~Ecclesiastes 3:11-12

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