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Linda Alessi: The experience that comes with change

Linda Alessi • Updated Aug 19, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Many of us who were transplanted from the North witnessed in the past the change of seasons, summer into fall and fall into winter. Just about this time, the leaves on the trees would turn to colors that would be determined by the temperature and the amount of rainfall in the previous months. 

This would be the contributing factor to the burst of color from green to red to bright gold. The crisp air and sunlight at this time of the year is brilliant.

This scene is vivid in my mind today as when I drove so many years on the Palisades Parkway going north toward West Point. The spectacular view was breathtaking, and the artist is the hand of God and nature. So often, we revisit the pleasant scenes that have left an impact on us.

I come back to reality and look around and find myself in a completely different environment. I can parallel the changes of seasons to the adjustments that are necessary. We prepare for winter by changing our type of clothing we wear from light fabrics to darker and heavier materials to keep us warm. Our homes are changed to accommodate the drop in temperature, and our thermostats reflect the adjustment.

Somehow, this brings to my mind the current situation at hand. I live in an environment that is somewhat controlled and currently geared for seniors. Change is not always easy to institute where people have resigned themselves to a particular way of life.

Change is sometimes challenged, sometimes accepted, sometimes necessary, but there is always a difference. Accepting the difference is difficult when we do not understand why and feel helpless when we cannot be effectively involved in making the change. Each of us can have control over what we personally can change. We also know the limitations of what we can change.

We know when we look into the mirror there is someone there who has changed. It is not the child or the young adult we saw not so long ago. We know when we have to do the chores or activities we did with such ease before, now becomes difficult due to physical frailties. We also realize the decisions that were made spontaneously came easily with a clear mind yesterday, and today it is more difficult and sometimes stressful. The many changes in our lives have caused us to be hesitant. We are fearful to lose the familiar and comfortable way we lived since we have reached our golden years. Many have lost trust in others, and many have been disappointed. More importantly, we have lost faith in the stability of our families, the insecurity of our position in life and the unyielding worship of material things in life.

The change that is most difficult is the change in our own behavior that we accept without questioning the validity. The lack of confidence that we are not able to conquer our fear has made us lose prospective of how great each one of us can be.  We all need to stop and go to the well of resource, wherever that may be, and gather strength and believe we can and will survive, regardless of change.

I believe I have seen and experienced change in many forms and will continue to witness still more. Some have been wondrous, others unpleasant. I also know as for myself, I will “change what I can, accept what I cannot and hopefully have the wisdom to know the difference.” This motto has worked for millions successfully. I hope it can work for you.

Linda Alessi is a contributing columnist writing about life beyond the younger years.

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