Papow Ponders #4: The Fear Of Change

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This September, both Flo and I started new jobs. We feel that the change has definitely been for the better but, speaking for myself, I was terribly anxious!

Why do we fear change though? As someone who loves to be prepared and in control, change scares me because it is unpredictable and unfamiliar. In my previous job,  I knew my routine, my colleagues, my families and my children. I’d got into my own rhythm and found what worked for me – it was comfortable.

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If change is scary, why go through it? I’d been working in the same place for four years. For those four years, I woke up at 5.30am, left the house at 6.20am, got the train and then the bus into work for 7.15am. Every time I woke up, I’d immediately check train times because, if there were any cancellations or delays, I’d have to wake up my husband to give me a lift. Each morning put me in a panic. Then, when I would go to bed, I wouldn’t want to go to sleep because the next time I opened my eyes it would be morning again. I’d sleep on the train and the bus both to and from work – I felt sluggish all the time. Leaving work was exactly the same; on a good day I’d be home in fifty minutes but, at least once or twice a week, it would be over an hour and a half. I’d spend a day preparing for lessons every weekend because I was scared that I’d be delayed in the morning and not be able to sort things in time at school. My anxiety hit a high point at the beginning of my fourth year; I’d become tearful and withdrawn at home and my tiredness was beginning to affect my health. I had to make a change.

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I’d been at my school since I qualified as a teacher – it was all I knew. Moving on would be scary but I had to put my family and my well-being first. To begin with, I had intense feelings of guilt about leaving my school; my colleagues and children were such a big part of my life. Once the guilt had subsided,  I had huge anxieties about the future. I kept wondering if people would see me as imperfect or a failure. It felt like my fears and panic would never leave me.

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Now, it’s been over six weeks since I started at my new school. It’s a twenty minute walk from my home and it’s made such a difference! Yes, being a teacher is still hard and full on but my commuting anxieties have completely disappeared. I don’t have palpitations when my alarm goes off in the morning and I can have ten more minutes in bed without worrying about missing a connection. My home life is calmer and I don’t spend each day on the verge of tears. I’ve even changed the way I dress. At my old school I’d wear whatever was comfortable for my commute and close at hand in the morning, now I can really make use of my wardrobe and actually look like me at work.

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Moving from a small pharmacy to a hospital has been a big change for Flo. She has taken on a great deal of responsibility and, being the fabulous geek I know her to be, she wants to do the best job possible. With that in mind, we had a discussion and felt it would be best for Flo to concentrate on her work. The blog will still continue and we’ll still get up to our usual adventures. However, well-being comes first and foremost and when you’re working over 12 hours a day – you need downtime. When things have settled down, Flo will be back blogging like a pro!

The fear of change is often what stops us from moving on in our lives but you won’t know if things can get better, if you don’t make a change. What would you like to change in your life? Have you made a change for the better? We’d love to hear from you!

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