Change … here we go again

Jimmie Batchelor

Guest Columnist

You walk into your favorite grocery store, look around and find everything has been moved around, and the layout changed. And we do not like it. How dare they take away our comfortable, familiar state of mind? Especially being a senior citizen, don’t they understand that seniors don’t like change?

It is not just seniors who do not like change, humans at any age dislike change, it just seems to get worse as we get older. We tend to find solace in the familiar. Why, we don’t even have to think much about the familiar. Ah, there you are ... we don’t have to think!

Stores have their reasons for changing things around. We have two ways to look at it: 1. Head out the door and find a store that doesn’t change all the time -- good luck! 2. Face the challenge, it will be an adventure.

You probably have heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it.” (No, I’m not going there.) Just think about what it means. You have to flex those muscles or one day, you turn around and there are no muscles! Use those legs or one day, you find it hard to walk. Same goes with the brain. When you are faced with change, it makes you use that muscle. Our cells are continually renewing, we need to help them along. The more you use it, the less chance of losing it.

The store management probably didn’t have our brain cells in mind when they changed things around. I imagine they just wanted to freshen up, make things look new again. What they renew is up to us. I choose the path of challenge and looking at things in a new light. It is fun to find new things and see where the new home is for the old. Almost the same as tearing down old deteriorating buildings and putting up new ones, up-to-date, beautiful to look at.

It seems I have written before concerning change. If I did, I feel it is time to bring the subject back. We are starting a new year, change is a comin’! It always does. We can embrace or retreat. When I embrace, it makes me feel young again. New experiences feel good. I’m learning new things, seeing my world through new eyes. Are you beginning to see the advantage of embracing change?

I have read quite a bit on bringing change into your life. There have been suggestions on starting small in your immediate circle of life. I don’t even remember how long ago these ideas entered my life as I seem to have always welcomed change to make life more interesting. I started with little actions, but I still do small things everyday, some big. Change up my routine some. You can too.

Starting small is easy, just switch around what you normally do. Get out of bed differently, an earlier or later time. Don’t automatically turn on the TV, listen to the radio. Baby steps, but they work. I’ve used my grocery store to change things up too. Always having a list of what I need is something I cannot change, I must have a list. But, I have bought brands I’ve never bought or switched vegetables for those I’ve never tried, taking my time looking at what all is offered. If you have a computer, you are lucky. You may buy anything you want, then go home and search online to find out how to cook and serve it. This could turn into something fun, you never know.

You find yourself always buying and wearing the same style or color? I have. Go buy yourself a shirt in a color you never have before. Presto! You never knew what such a small change could bring.

I am just making suggestions here. It is part of enjoying life; welcoming change. Try doing something small you have never tried before and see for yourself.

One of my daughters gave me a little book, “Why I love Mom,” which I will always treasure. Fifty statements followed by blanks that she had filled. One of them said, “If you were a scent, you would be______.” She filled in “ever-changing.” What better compliment could I have wished for?

Jimmie recently retired from Henry Co. Senior Services in Stockbridge, where she managed Hidden Valley Senior Center and resided for 38 years. She plans to use her new found time writing (for The Times) and enjoying life!