A friend recently shared a nugget of wisdom with me, that change helps keep us young. I’d never thought of it that way, but this fact was as immediately obvious as real truth always is when suddenly revealed. I was grateful for this particular truth as I head into yet another big life change, this time a job change. The thought of this change helping me stay young-at-heart has enormous appeal to me in mid-life, heading to a new company which I hope to be my last. I would like to know that the pain which change always brings will have benefit beyond being the toll required to get to the other side.
I’ve started over so many times that I’m no longer scared of it…I’ve even been told that I’m good at it. I would hope to have learned some tips and tricks, given how many times I’ve done it, but I still never look forward to it. Change is hard, you start over on everything: being accepted and trusted; learning the “don’t do’s” in the new culture; making all new friends. Oh yeah, and learning a new business. It’s exhausting. I’ve always hated the first six months of every new job.
But I also see my friend’s point: when we’re changing, we’re growing. When we’re growing, we’re learning. And when we’re learning, we’re regenerating. That sounds like the definition of youth to me. What a wonderful gift of perspective she gave me: I think that, for the first time, I just might enjoy these first six months.
“To find the joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.” –Pearl S. Buck