Change Happens

Can you BELIEVE this??” my husband thundered from upstairs. “UNBELIEVABLE!!”

Doug has a deep voice, but does not typically “thunder”.  So I ran upstairs.

The subject of his ire? A new can of Barbasol shaving cream. Yes, the shaving cream that’s been around for 100 years. Its new design included (SURPRISE) both a smaller size and a higher price.

Change happens. Sometimes it’s for our benefit (seat belts, often the stock market), sometimes not (see above).  Many times it’s out of our control…but not always. Sometimes the public can affect change-like by VOTING, or protesting to the body that first made the change to walk it back (remember The New Coke?). 

Reaction to change is both logical and emotional. But most of us spend waaaay too much of our life force fighting against change on sheer principle.  Both this favorite article and the then-blockbuster book it’s about are even more relevant than ever today.

Sometimes I describe my field as design anthropology. I’ve spent a lifetime helping people untangle and find peace with the complicated relationship they have with their space and possessions, their circumstances and feelings. I’ve learned what we want, why we do what we do in our modern life is embedded just as deeply in our cells as our ancestor’s actions were millenniums ago.

The last few years have pushed many of us to places we couldn’t have previously imagined. So much change, so much out of our control. Typical frustration and resistance have morphed to more serious conditions like fear and depression; more abrupt behaviors like rage.

It’d be a crushing insult to trivialize what’s been lost the last 2 years; to seemingly blithely suggest a pretty-looking space will make everything better.

But that is my point.

Whether it’s’ in life, love, business, painting, or moving out of your house: dealing with change in a productive and meaningful way is deep. It’s visceral, and we need to look beyond the surface, beyond the visual.

Giving power to what makes us happy is a good start. Letting ourselves acknowledge loss is necessary to deal with and move on from change. And to cut down on the angst, sooner-like Sniff and Scruffy-is better than later-as Hem and Haw found out.