Change Pinches, But It Can Help, Too

Everyday Adventures

So last week I said I was looking to make some changes in my blog-life and in that quirky way the universe has of tossing things together, life threw me another change.

Lessons are sometimes very easy to spot, no?

Driving home from work one day last week there was one of those big light-up road signs declaring one of the roads I take to and from work will be closing for 7 months. Seven months.

And I am, admittedly, a serious creature of habit.

But at least I had two weeks to figure out my plan of action, right? That certainly counts for something.

The funny thing is, I’d changed my route earlier this year, and it’s not one I want to go back to.

See, I used to go a very logical way to work that took my through a very large intersection. That intersection is monitored by a red-light camera and has a huge lead-in between it and the intersection before it. On a good day I’d catch the light before it or clearly come up to it while it was still red, but more mornings than not I’d be in this cosmic game of chicken with the light going 40 mph (the speed limit) trying to gauge how long the left turn signal had been red or what the crosswalk countdown is currently on, all while wondering if I slow down on yellow (like you’re supposed to!) how much damage the car behind me is likely to do.

It was just way too much stress to start every. single. day. with and I had to make a change. And that change–while adding a third school zone to drive through–greatly decreased my pre-work stress and didn’t add any time to my commute.

The route home was simple enough to fix: a single lane change just before the detour and I’m able to scoot around the construction obstruction by way of a stair-step of streets. On the way too work I have a few more options, so I’ve been trying them out one by one, trying to decide which is less likely to cause a fit of road rage.

Changing up our schedules wakes us up.

Have you ever ended up at your usual destination and not remembered the trip at all? We become so entrenched in our routines that our brains go numb. By changing things up, even if you don’t necessarily have to, wakes our brains up and makes new connections in our head. Feeling in a rut? Change up something in your day and see if it helps.

It’s not just the acceptance of change that helps us, it’s looking for the perks, as well. For instance, on my new way home I pass several stores that I forgot were there–Chinese grocery, office supply, and even our smaller–yet more accessible and including the only Barnes & Noble we have left–mall. This opens up all sorts of easy errand-running possibilities!

So while I don’t necessarily relish making this change in routine, I’m learning from it. And I think that’s probably the greater lesson.

Have you encountered any change you could learn from, recently?

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