If I had to choose one word that describes the last year of my life, it would be “change”.

At first I thought it was “transition”. My daughter transitioning from “single” to “engaged” and then “endangered” and now “safe.” Even “happy”. My marriage transitioning from “good” to “awful” to “problematic” to….well, “transitioning”. With glimmers of “hope” and “even better”. (I hate picking just one word.) My son from “independent” to “nearly died” and now “healing”. Oh, and even better, “OMG, has a girlfriend”. (See? I needed four words to say that.) My health transitioned from “pain” to “painfree”. My art/business from “stalled” to “energized”, my cash flow from “steady” to “nada”, but now “increasing”.

But then I realized transition is just another word for “change”. And frankly, change sucks.

Change is hard. Even when good things come of it, it’s still hard. You just get things figured out, you just find a way to get through life smoothly, everything is in its place and that’s that. And then the applecart gets upset. And you have to start all over again.

A reader posted this comment on my blog a few days ago:

I have always been fascinated by loss and “the breakdown before the breakthrough.” as it is called in certain circles.

The breakdown before the breakthrough…. That just about sums it up.

It seems I still have to learn these same lessons over and over again. So many times, the things that seem awful, or stupid, or thoughtless, are still based on good intentions. We have to learn not to assume, but to check out our assumptions.

Sometimes the things that seem problematic, turn out to be the best possible solution after all.

Sometimes, that solution is right under your nose. You just can’t see it til you’ve run through all the other possibilities. And you run through all those possibilities, considering this one, objecting to that one, despairing and lost, until your brain finally goes, “Oh. OH! Yeah, that’ll work!” And sometimes it takes a second person (oddly, who’s also the person you’re arguing with) to see the simple solution.

Sometimes you have to clear the deck (or it gets cleared FOR you) in order for something else, something better, something wonderful to get through.

Changes in marriage suck. But marriages aren’t static. They evolve. They grow. they change. Sometimes things get hard. But sometimes, they get easier, too.

Changing how many dogs are in the house is hard. The idea of managing four dogs for a few weeks seemed insurmountable. And now we find four dogs are actually easier to deal with than just one bored dog. (He’s way too busy to chew our furniture this week!)

Sometimes we lose something we think we can’t live without. And if we’re lucky, we find something even better to replace it.

So I’m sitting here writing this on a Friday morning. Today looked so awful from yesterday’s viewpoint.

And it looks so different now.

Yep. Someday I’ll be able to handle change a little bit better (I hope.) And life will truly be just a dream.

But in the meantime, I’m so grateful I have a way to think these things through–by writing in my journal. By writing a blog post. By arguing with a man who loves me better than anyone has ever loved me. Even if he does suck at negotiating sometimes.

Because he’s learning to deal with change, too, right along with me.

Change. It sucks. But then, the really good things in life are always worth a little extra effort. Or even a lot.

So often, the breakdown is never something we would willingly choose.

But the breakthrough is the blessedly shiny reward that makes it all bearable in the end.

From two dogs….
….to four! (But only for awhile.)

Author: Luann Udell

I find it just as important to write about my art as to make it. I am fascinated by stories. You can tell when people are speaking their truth--their eyes light up, their voices become strong, their entire body posture becomes powerful and upright. I love it when people get to this place in their work, their relationships, their art. As I work from this powerful place in MY heart, I share this process with others--so they have a strong place to stand, too. Because the world needs our beautiful art. All of it we can make, as fast as we can! Whether it's a bowl, a painting, a song, a garden, a story, if it makes our world a better place, we need to do everything in our power to get it out there.

13 thoughts on “EVEN GOOD CHANGE SUCKS”

  1. My daughter’s autism diagnosis included the comment that she did not cope well with change – who does!?! Thanks for stating the obvious – but so often not recognized part of “good” change – it is still unsettling, unnerving, and that sucks.


    1. LOL, isn’t it funny how we tend to demonize the things in autistic kids that EVERYBODY has trouble with? I’m always amazed when someone says something poopy about kids, and I have to say, “You know, I know ADULTS who act that way, so why do we expect kids to do better than adults?”


  2. The last twelvemonth for me has seen more change (cancer, relationship ending, friends dying) than probably any in my life since I went through puberty more than forty years ago. Twelve months ago my life was the most happy and productive it had ever been, and so many things have changed since then. I am still hopeful that there will be some blessedly shiny reward at the end, but for now I am grateful that at least I have somehow mostly retained my positive attitude, despite all the major setbacks.


    1. May your shiny blessing appear SOON. And yes, your positive attitude is worth its figurative weight in gold. You may never know who has been supported and encouraged by it.


  3. Thank you Luann for sharing your thoughts. You always seem to be just ahead of me on the path. Thanks for showing the way!


  4. Hi Luann, I’ve been encouraged by your husband’s tech blog for years and am very happy to have found a link to your blog in one of his posts. Your words of encouragement here are very timely and I appreciate you sharing from your experience. I can so relate to experiencing the breakdown before the breakthrough and will keep pressing on.



  5. Luann, I’m so happy that you’re able to express what so many of us feel, but are incapable of putting into words. For me also, the last several years have been nothing but change after change (I’ve come up with a new philosophy of life “dull is good”), mostly bad, some good. And you know, I’m still here, still strong, still mostly optimistic that my life will end with more good than bad on the balance. I’ve found that the more bad changes have happened, I’ve been able to help ffiends who hit those changes after me, easing their path considerably. I’m glad I have friends who have helped me with some of my changes. Friends and support network are what it’s al about. Why not let us help you when you need it, too?


  6. Love the potcake chow line picture. I see the cat has found her true calling supervising the mutts 😉

    Big hugs to you and Jon. Planning Boston this fall; hope to see you.


  7. LuLu, Josephine said multiple times “The only constant in life is change”. A yogic saying which, after hearing enough times, finally sunk in for me. I find it helps to recite that to myself when I’m being self-defeating. So what, I didn’t do so well today or everything I touched somehow fell apart. Tomorrow (if I feel like it) I can do something different, something better. Or if all the lemons are being thrown at you at once, you can be confident that it is not going to last. Yup, embrace the change.


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