The Retirement Journal- Good Reasons not to Name a Fish Redux – Adapting to Change

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”-Dan Millman, from the book ‘Way of the Peaceful Warrior’


When I first started writing the blog, I wrote several posts about the fish in our backyard pond. The speedy synopsis of that story is;

Pond, Whole-lotta-fish, Heron!, Save the survivors!, Aquarium.

If you want a little more of the backstory, the first post can be seen here and the last in the series here.

The surviving comets, known as The Twelve,  have lived in a 90-gallon aquarium for the last two years. They adapted well to the change from pond to tank, content in their safe, well-fed existence.

Now, we are in the final stages of getting our house ready to sell.   New carpet goes in today, and because that carpet needed to go under the 90 gallon, two zillion pound tank, we had to drain it to move it.

The question of what to do with the fish has been the subject of much discussion between House Selling Dave and I. We can’t take them with us in the RV ( believe me, I asked), so our only good solution is to move them back to the pond.

Because their new/old home is still partially frozen and the aquarium needed to be drained today, The Twelve needed a waypoint.  So, we moved my fish friends to a large plastic storage tub, and they are not at all happy about it.   They refuse to look at me and won’t eat.

IMG_3299  FullSizeRender (5)

It’s a change for them, and they have not yet adapted.

Adapting to change is hard.  In reflection, I can see the many times I fought against the changes in my life instead of going with the flow and learning to adapt.  This struggle made everything so much harder than it needed to be.   The wisdom of age and experience has shown me that change can be a blessing and I’m learning to embrace and be grateful for the best parts.   Finally, at age sixty-two, I’m learning to adapt ( emphasis on the word ‘learning.’)

The most recent positive change, retirement, has caused me to feel a little bit adrift because of the shift in my daily ‘normal’.  I’ve been working through those feelings and trying to change the focus from missing what I’ve lost to building a brand new normal.  The next big change, downsizing from our large home to living full time in the RV is coming very soon. While I’m looking forward to the excitement of travel and freedom, doing it is going to take being open to something new.  It also means I’ll have to recognize and embrace the feelings of loss for what I’m leaving behind. Leaving my home and the things I love about living in it will be heart-rending, and the goodbye will be teary, but if I can keep my focus on the possibilities ahead, I’ll be able to close that door one last time.

Right now, The Twelve might be crying some tiny fish tears about what they’ve lost.  They are nervous about the future, they’ve left their comfortable home and are headed to something unknown. Once they get to their pond, they will adapt.  They will be happy with the extra space and the hidey holes in the rocks.   They will let go of what was and move on to what is and what could be.

I’m going to try to do the same.

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