Life’s About Changing, Nothing Ever Stays the Same in Life or in Business

One of my favorite Patty Loveless songs is “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye.” The refrain lyrics go like this:
Mama whispered softly time will ease your pain
Life’s about changing nothing ever stays the same
And she said how can I help you to say goodbye it’s okay to hurt and it’s okay to cry
Come let me hold you and I will try how can I help you to say goodbye
At no time in my life has this song ever hit home more than in the last few years. The latest goodbye happened on January 17, 2017. I had to say goodbye to one of the greatest loves of my life…my nearly 19 year old cat, Sheba. It was heart breaking. This was a heart ache that was different than what I had with my other cat that passed away three years ago. Cleopatra went into full kidney failure. She could barely walk. She looked at me as if to say, “Help me go. I’m ready.” It was painful, but the decision was one that was obvious. But Sheba wasn’t ready to go. Her heart and mind were with me, but her tired body was not. She was dropping weight and her colon had gotten to a point where it could no longer evacuate on its own. Laxatives and drugs were only a temporary solution before an enema was needed. The procedure was invasive and exhausting for Sheba. After a while, the enemas stopped helping for more than a few days, and my vet and I had the conversation that all pet lovers dread. I told her I needed some time to say goodbye to her and she agreed that was fine. I spent the next week being a helicopter mom. I loved on Sheba every waking moment I was with her. She would look at me with love and adoration and my heart would break that much more. Finally, the time came. I was a mess. I’m still a mess. Fortunately, I have a job I love that is a great distraction from the pain and friends across the globe sending me love and support and trying to keep me busy. And through all my losses, I go running.
During this week, I thought about many of my friends that had recently suffered other kinds of heart breaking losses such as being let go from their job after 20 years, the end of a long marriage and the passing of loved ones…both two legged and four legged. I kept thinking about the song lyrics and how I could help them to say goodbye to their losses, and more important how I could help them recover from their broken hearts. This blog is a small, but sincere effort to help do that.
Sheba was perfectly healthy prior to my move to Kansas City. The move nearly killed her. Dogs deal with change. Cats don’t. After her passing, I realized the last three years of my life had revolved around Sheba and her rigid and constant medical needs and medication schedules. All of a sudden, that disappeared. I had all this time on my hands and a sad sense of flexibility and freedom I hadn’t had since I moved to Kansas City. As I try to recover from my grief, I am now focusing on a very different future and actually focusing on what I want and need for the first time in a very long time. If you follow this blog, “Lessons from the Road,” you know running is my center…my go to activity when it all goes wrong or things in my life are off center. A run is my go to activity because it’s “me time” and a time where I feel at peace and centered. I thank God every day that I’m able to run and go to this place with my mind, body and spirit.

So what does this have to do with business?
People can be like cats and not deal with change well. But like the song says, life’s about changing and nothing ever stays the same. How we deal with that change is what sets us apart.
We can be consumed by our losses and let them paralyze us. In the workplace, losing our jobs or seeing people we care about lose their jobs can make us feel angry, unappreciated and feel so many other ways that are natural when we’re in shock or in crisis. Losing clients or bids on prospective new business can make us feel exhausted and cause us to second guess ourselves. But we cannot let these feelings keep us from moving forward. Life is about changing and it’s about relentless forward progress. When we dwell in the past or stop moving forward, we stop living our best, most productive lives.
I’m not saying we cannot mourn and grieve for our losses. We should do that. But we also, in our grief, must try to focus on the future and the positive things we want and need to achieve going forward after our losses. We must remember our joy and not just our sorrow. The joyful things remind us that we are still here…living, breathing, growing, evolving and thriving to be the best we can be for ourselves and those around us.

Mourn your losses, but don’t forget to rejoice in the opportunities and adventures that lie ahead! Wishing you a joyful, exciting journey.

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2 Responses to “Life’s About Changing, Nothing Ever Stays the Same in Life or in Business”

  1. Jim Newton Says:

    Hello, Lauren:
    Sorry to hear about Sheba. It reminds me to stop moping because an old grey cat that my landlord cares for will take my food, but won’t let me pet her. And of course, the Patty Loveless reference caught my attention as a former country DJ. A favorite waitress runs a pet rescue and is counseling me on feline companionship in 2 years when I retire. Still undecided. I have to figure other stuff like medicare before considering pets.
    I hope you and your Dad are still doing ok.
    Jim Newton
    Itasca,il

    • abelpr Says:

      Jim,

      Thank you for your condolences. I appreciate it. Be patient with the aging grey cat. Cats that are not domestic need to come around on their own timeline…not ours. Cats are one of God’s greatest creatures, in my opinion. They bring us much love and joy. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement in two years. You’ve earned it! Dad is doing well. Thanks for asking.
      Take care and be well!
      Lauren

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