Recalibration – is that something you do very often?  Lately it seems to keep coming up for me – it seems like I am constantly recalibrating my position.  Maybe that’s a good thing.

Every time I think of recalibrating, I think of that lovely story written by Emily Perly Kingsley, about planning a trip to Italy and ending up in Holland.  In it she is saying that having and raising a child with a disability is a bit like planning a trip of a lifetime to Italy.  You learn the language, study the geography and the people, and immerse yourself in everything Italian to prepare.  But when your plane lands the attendants say “Welcome to Holland,” and there you are.  You know nothing about Holland – you spent all that time studying Italy.  But slowly and surely you start to realize that Holland is a great place, if you just let yourself let go of the fact that you aren’t where you expected to be.  The sights of Holland aren’t the sights of Italy, but they are very lovely – different isn’t necessarily bad. And pretty soon you come to realize that if you keep pining for what you don’t have and where you are not, you are going to miss all the good things about what you DO have and where you are.

So whenever I find myself fretting over something that didn’t work out the way I planned, I try to remind myself to recalibrate.  Instead of spending my time and energy stewing about what I am missing, I try to change my perspective to appreciate what I have now. I try to look for things that I would have missed had my plans come to fruition.  It may seem a little too much like ‘always looking for the bright side’, but is looking for the bright side a bad thing?  For me the important thing seems to be to acknowledge that what I wanted and expected is not going to happen and move on. What I know for a fact is that if I spend my time thinking about ‘what might have been’ or what was ‘supposed to happen,’  I will miss what IS.

Now don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that I just pretend what I wanted in the first place doesn’t matter.  It won’t work for me to say ‘well I didn’t really want that trip to Europe anyway’ if I really wanted that trip to Europe.   I  need to take a little  time to mourn what I did not get or what I lost, and sometimes it takes longer than others.  Sometimes I can throw myself a little 5-minute pity party and be done with it.  Sometimes I need a week.  It really depends on what exactly I am mourning.

It seems to me that we are all recalibrating all the time.  Sometimes it’s because of something big and sometimes it is something smaller.   We need to recalibrate when we lose a relationship, or when a relationship changes.  We  need to recalibrate when our lives hit those changes that everyone seems to know are coming, but few are prepared for – you know, when a baby come into our lives, when kids start school, or when kids become adults and leave home.  We need to recalibrate when an illness touches our lives, an accident happens, or we are faced with a job change, whether by choice or not.  Change is the only constant that I know of, and change requires recalibration.

I am not saying it is easy.  But I am saying that I have found it to be worthwhile – at least for me.  In a future post I will share some times when I have had to recalibrate.  I would love to hear how you cope with change and how you recalibrate.  Comments and your stories are welcome!

1 comment to Recalibration

  • I think I have recalibrated just about every hour in the last two years. Having been left by my job to starting a new business to learning something new, sometimes by accident and sometimes by design.

    Judy you are right and change is constant. It takes adjusting with the flow or going against it but change is always there.

    I used to hate change, I like order. What I realized is like it or not it will happen and the only order is to make peace with it and go forward. It is a constant dance that I am getting better at.

    Great post! Thanks

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