People are born to change. We come into this world a babe, but soon we are crawling, walking, and talking. That 8½ pound baby now weighs—a lot more!

We start school a child and 12 years later, we graduate a young adult. We are taller, heavier…and hopefully a little smarter.

Through the different stages of our lives, we experience a variety of changes. Perhaps college, marriage, family.
Those are the outer changes, but what about the inner changes. I thought I had made a lot of changes when we experienced our empty nest—meaning the kids were gone from the house, but still around.

However, then came the time of being a “real” wife to an over-the-road truck driver. I finally got to be with him for more than a day or a weekend. I found that communication was a different thing from what I had experienced for thirty years.

We were talking and experiencing the same things as I traveled with my husband. We were discussing things that we had not thought to talk about before—more than what to buy for the kids or what was needed for groceries to feed four teenage boys! There were real issues that needed to be dealt with—like our aging parents and where to put our family when they came home with mates—our one-thousand square foot house had become too small with just six grown-ups and we were becoming eight and ten.

Well, we made it through the next ten years of taking care of parents, but now what? We were alone—and had more time to talk to each other.

About that time I joined Toastmasters and was back in the workforce. There were all kinds of new challenges. Communicating with fellow workers, entering the world of children in an all new generation, and communicating with my husband.

I thought I was done learning when I hit the sixties! Boy, was I wrong! It seemed that I was really just starting. Now, you must realize that I am not a person who likes change, yet it seemed that I had spent my whole life making changes—from over a dozen physical moves, raising four sons, working many part-time jobs to help raise those sons, taking care of parents. Well, you get the idea.

While all those things had impacted me emotionally and physically, they also had changed me mentally. They had caused me to think about others more as I interacted with my family—both siblings and children who were themselves going through life’s changes.

Many of my changes were reflections of what our parents had experienced only from a different angle as our society was making so many drastic changes.

But parents are gone and I am one of the Seniors running around now. What do I have to offer to the younger generations? What have I learned from all the changes in my life? What have all my experiences taught me or how have they changed me?

WOW! And I am still learning for you see communication is not easy and now it is complicated with telephones, texting, e-mail, tweeting…

The problem is that all of these things seem to make it even harder to communicate with another person. For example, I was texting a friend to try to get together with her and between her schedule and mine we were having quite a time. However, we never really seemed to be able to express why or how to alleviate the problem. Finally, I texted her—“this is the pits. Please call me.” She texted me back—“Yeh-h!”

Do you see? We all have many changes to experience in our lives, but the biggest problem is still the same—communication. Really conveying to another person what we are feeling and experiencing, or being able to sympathize with what another person is feeling or experiencing.

Toastmasters has helped me learn how to be a better listener—as I am a great speaker (talker). But giving my opinion to someone will not help them most of the time. Most of the time, people just need someone to REALLY listen to them. That requires a face-to-face meeting.

Time! But I don’t have time to do that! Really. How important are relationships to you…to me? I am finding that time is the only thing that counts when it comes to relationships. Perhaps, all those changes over all these years have actually taught me something.

Change physically.
Change emotionally.
Change mentally.

While I have gained much mental information over the years, I believe it is the combination of spiritual and emotional change that has been the best.

Those provide the bedrock for all other changes. Be open to change in your life. Be ready for change. We live in an age of change—of astronomical proportions. But beware of the effects of the changes on your growth.

Keep a good perspective and in your openness, always know that change can be good or bad. Use the knowledge you have already gained to filter the new information.

Change—a part of life—whether we like it or not!

The Waynedale News Staff

Linda Demorest

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