04 Jun Well The Times, They Are A-changin’
Are you old enough to hear the song in your head that this title is taken from? If so, I’ll see you over at McDonalds in the “old dude ordering senior coffee and lamenting over the end of good ol’ days” section. Frankly, I love being a part of that crowd. Of course my wife will tell you I was born 40 years old so it really hasn’t been too much of a stretch for me!
Well, at the risk of living up to this questionable reputation, I say Mr. Bob Dylan probably didn’t even know how right he was when he wrote these lyrics in the 60’s. I suspect that there has been more change in the last 50 years than any other 50 year stretch in history and maybe even more change than any time span ever. I remember movies from back then that implied that the age of the super-computer was coming but the image was of a machine that filled rooms with electronic gadgetry – not something smaller than the palm of your hand. There were radical inventions like the cordless phone, 8 track player, and Gemini space trips. That stuff was all just moments ago but to young people you might as well be talking about the Dark Ages.
Change really is the only constant it seems and this is not just true of science and technology. We develop as individuals, families, societies, and as a species. Just for a moment I want to talk about change and family. One segment of my training as a Marriage and Family Therapist focused on what is called the Family Life Cycle. Families evolve over time through different developmental stages. Some of these stages are somewhat predictable even as many events that cause change are not.
The first thing I want to say about this subject is perhaps the most important. As I have already discussed, changes are hard and ALWAYS bring stress with them – even the positive or good changes. So when you move from being the young married couple to the couple with infant children, there is joy but also tons of stress. When you transition from the family with adolescent children to the launching stage and empty nest, tons more stress come your way. I’m not telling you this to scare you but rather to reassure you. You can’t avoid the stress but hopefully with some understanding and patience you can prepare for and get through the transition times a little more functionally and perhaps even a little more happily. So in my next couple of blogs, get ready to talk about some change. If you want to see me sooner, come on over to my local McDonalds and share a cup of senior coffee!