When life doesn’t change, we get bored. Christmas is fun until we don’t want to listen to Christmas music anymore. Warm summer days are nice until we get tired of the heat. Spending a lazy morning in bed is relaxing, but eventually most of us want to get up. We seek change in an effort to repeatedly experience something new.
Change is also difficult. It’s hard to accept that things are different than before and that unexpected things may happen. It’s sad to say goodbye to the things we loved. As a parent, I cried when I tried to pick up my children and realized they had grown so much that I couldn’t lift them for more than a few minutes without wanting to put them down, and I missed the experience of scooping up my babies and giving them kisses. Then there is death, the biggest change of all. It agonizing to know that someone you love is suddenly gone. It’s frustrating when things don’t change the way we want them to.
There is a delicate balance of sameness and difference that we humans seem to require in our lives to maintain our contentment. Perhaps the secret to finding joy in change is accepting that it happens and that it cannot be controlled or perfectly predicted, so we can see it as an adventure while feeling gratitude for adventures we’ve had so far.