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Change: Hate it or Embrace it?

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 09:22 am
My husband is an academic who is currently a couple of years into a 5-year postdoc position. However, he has been getting a lot of interest from various institutions, and applied for 2 jobs this year.

He goes on his first interview/ talk today, (wish him luck!) and the other job he applied for (University of Minnesota) just asked him to come in early March. We were talking last night about the decision-making process; that the U of M people said they want to get going and may have their decision as early as mid-March.

So I was thinking, "OK, so they decide, offer [of course they may not make the offer], other job may make an offer, current job may put in a bid to keep him, that'll take some time to iron out, say mid-April, then we would move in the fall, no we moved here more like the end of July, lesse May-June-July 3 months...Exclamation... and a house, we have to find a house, do we buy one right away or rent and move twice... and the kiddo, how is she going to handle all of this, how do I prepare her???????"

It was about there that my head exploded.

I've moved twice so far 'cause of E.G. -- once from Madison to L.A., once from L.A. to Chicago. Some of you may know I kinda liked Madison (ahem), and moving to L.A. was agonizing for me. BUT, I had incredible professional opportunities there, opportunities I wouldn't have had in Madison. It was really difficult for me to leave all of that in L.A., BUT I absolutely love where we live now. "Bloom where you're planted" seems to work for me, but I don't like the uprooting much.

What about you?
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 09:29 am
Man, I've got the itch to go NOW!

I'm on the other side of the coin. I've been dragging the gf around the country -- not that she wanted to stay in Santa Cruz, where job opportunities generally hover right around none. And I still feel the urge to keep going (but this next one's largely up to her).

Envision a much more earthbound life not too far down the road; house, plenty of land for plenty of dogs and whatnot (goats, maybe, I like goats) to run around on, a university town with decent restaurants not too far away.

Ah-yup, then I'll be reading by the fire with Otis sprawled out at my feet.

(You think the sozlet would have trouble with the move? I'd've thought she was at an age when all change was exciting. Not so sure about Minneapolis, though. Ugh. Just makes me think of the Violent Femmes and Purple Rain.)
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Sugar
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 09:45 am
In general I think change is good. New jobs, new homes, new people - any changes I've had like that has turned out to be great. You can always move, look for a new job, etc. if it doesn't work out so I think of those things as opportunities more than scary changes. I've never regretted just taking a deep breath and jumping in.

However, there are some changes that are awful - no one likes their parents to get divorced or losing a best friend, etc.. For the most part though, change is good. The boy wants to get married and go gallavanting through Europe for the next 20 years. I would rather stay right in Boston, but I'm also not to hard to convince that a couple years in Barcelona might not be a bad idea either.

Just trying to take it in stride....
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 09:58 am
Sooz, the one thing that I wish I had done in my life is relocate early on; I do think, however, that when that precious baby is ready to attend kindergarten, you and your husband should be established in one place.
Good luck, gal. You'll adapt anywhere.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 10:08 am
Yeah, good distinction, Sugar. There are definitely some changes that suck, but I can't say I've regretted any of these moves.

patiodog, you're the spiritual twin of my friend Pete. He owns a bookstore in Madison, lives on a farm with his longtime gf outside of town, has a coupla dogs, a coupla goats.

The sozlet... oy. I have been in research mode, and the research conflicts. She adores adventures of the "let's go for a walk in the woods" kind, but does NOT like changes in her routine. When we have sleep-over visitors, she starts to get this manic gleam in her eye and does bad things. Not BAD, but throwing things she knows she's not supposed to throw, etc. Her grandparents live in Mpls, (that's where I grew up), and she loves them, so hopefully that will be a selling point. But at least until we get completely settled in -- boxes unpacked, etc. -- it's gonna be painful.
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the prince
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 10:17 am
I work in an organization whose motto is "change is the only constant thing". And personally I don't have any problems with it. I for one love change. Change in my job, change in my location. Have lived in several countries, have worked in 5 departments in the bank during my 10 yr stint with them. I see every change as an oppurtunity to learn something new, meet new people, make new friends, explore new cultures. And it is good for me as well, as I by nature am a very restless person, and I easily get bored by the same thing. I also easily adapt to change, when it is dictated by my professional life.

Having said that, personal changes infuriates me at times, mostly in small things. Like a website I use changes its format. Or, since I always sleep on the left side of the bed (my partner, when I have them, is always right Laughing) and the maid (in a hotel) turns down the right side of the bed. Small things, but they really drive me nuts.

I think I am a bit strange......
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 03:38 pm
Change can be good if the change is truely necessary and useful. Change for the sake of change is just a waste of time and energy.

For the 1st 20 years of my life I lived in one town, one house. For the 2nd 20 years I've moved every 3 or 4 years so that is now my "normal" pattern.

Which "change" would I give up? The change of moving itself or the change of jobs/houses? Either way is a change from "normal" so things are going to change for me one way or the other.

Change is what you make of it and whether you participate in the change or are dragged along by it.

Good luck to EG either way!
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 03:46 pm
Letty, I missed you there! I agree completely about kindergarten. Thanks much for the vote of confidence. Very Happy

Quote:
Change is what you make of it


EXCELLENT point.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 04:00 pm
I've lived in four places (and lots of places within those places), and each move had its logic and was worth the effort. But now I really hope I never have to again; not only that, I hope I never have to sell my house.

It's not that everything is perfect, and it's not that I'm THAT old, but I find routine comforting to a great degree. I suspect I'm living in the mind more than I used to, but that's OK. (I voted for the third option in the poll, something about reading by the fire.)
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quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 06:02 pm
Change in surroundings I think is great for developing yourself and finding excitement in your life, adding new people, places and okay you can call it adventures even.
Although I dont admire constant change, I think life hands us changes at different times to roll with. I grew up one place, my parents moved when I was a Senior in HS to a nice small town close by, I went away to college, settled down in that area, stayed there for a while, moved to where I am now, and have been here for a bit as well. Each change has been for a reason, has had it purpose and added to my life in great ways. I almost feel like if I stay where I am for more than say 3 more years, Im probably going to loose my mind. Not that its bad, just that it needs to be different. Time for a change, thats all. And not that it has to be drastic even, just different.
Considering the sozlet is important for you, and I agree with the whole schooling thing...keep her in one place if you can for that, or for most of it whenever possible. Before and after, well, thats where you will get your direction in new people and places to add to the enrichment of your life.
Best of Luck, it aint always easy, and its not always fun but, somehow, it usually works out in the end.
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BillW
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 06:07 pm
Change makes headlines, sells newspapers, makes the rich richer, turns green land into asphault and concrete - where was I?
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 06:28 pm
Being staunchly conservative. {:-\
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 07:11 pm
Sozobe

Change? Good Question
Well, it depends on how MUCH of it happens at one time & how much of it you have control over, or at least a say in.
Too much IMPOSED changed can be downright horrible & stressful! Shocked But change when you need & want it can be a marvellous tonic. Very Happy
It's a question of balance & most importantly, timing.

Good luck with your decision making! Now there are 3 people to consider. In my opinion promotion & work opportunities, though important, are not everything. Things like lifestyle, community & some continuity in your life are just as important.
Happy negotiating! Very Happy
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 08:07 pm
Upon further reflection, I think being able to handle change is an important skill, but I no longer seek it out just for the heck of it. I had a girl friend once who dumped me, as far as I could tell, because she knew there were many other things she wanted to do in her life, so she might as well get it over with!

I think that experience soured me on the change concept to some extent...
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 08:14 pm
Sure, that makes sense, D'art.

Msolga, I think you make a really good point about control. I was excited about taking off for Europe, but poor E.G. (then boyfriend of only a few months), who was left behind, was miserable. This is definitely happening TO me.

Btw, the way the postdoc thing works is that it is just for five years' duration, though he may leave before that if he gets an attractive offer. So it's not really a promotion sort of situation -- he will be jobless in a couple of years unless he finds SOME other job. It's just a matter of now or later.

(Edited for minor typos which nonetheless niggled at me...)
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 08:30 pm
Quick, sozobe! Time for super in-depth family conference, with ALL options put clearly on the table! Someone is going to feel put out, or resentful down the track, if things are allowed to just HAPPEN ... Either way.
My sympathy to you. It's not an easy situation to be in.
(Are you saying that these sorts of work-inspired changes might be a constant feature of your life?)
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 09:12 pm
change
I'm trying to figure out what the problem is. It's surely not whether or not one should suffer change or to like it. First, change is inevitable and ubiquitous. Heraclitis said the most important thing every said. One can't step in the same river twice. We should interpret this to mean even that there is no constant being who can't step in a variable river twice. It's ALL variable.
I also lived the life of an academic who moved from place to place, studying at different universities, then teaching at different colleges and universities, and even doing my research in another country off and on for a total of three years. I didn't like so much change--it entailed feelings of insecurity at times--but they were only feelings; we were never in fact ever very insecure. The problem, I guess, was providing constancy for my step son; he had to move away from friends too often. But even he handled it well. I guess, Sozobe, since you and your husband are committed to a life of change, given his professional choices, you might as well embrace it, whether or not you like it.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 09:35 pm
Change is the only constant. I need it, or i start behaving badly.

As a child, my parents only moved us once. But life kicked in re school - the school i started kindergarten in was condemned - so at christmas i was off to a new school. the one move happened halfway through grade 1 - so it was half of kindgarten and then half of grade 1 at the next school. that school lasted for half of grade 1 through grade 2. then they built a school in our subdivision. so it was another school for grades 3 and 4. then it was felt i needed more challenge - so i was transferred to a more academically challenging program at another school for grade 5 and 6. then the school board cancelled the program so it was off to another school for grade 7 and 8. grades 9 - 13 were at one school (which almost made me stir crazy - i tried to transfer myself to another school at the end of grade 10, but didn't get away with it). soooooooo 7 schools for me, tho we only moved once.

I was in a co-op program in uni - moving every 4 months for 5 years. It was paradise for me.

Since i graduated i've had to find something to change about every year to year and a half. I'm dangerous when i stagnate.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 09:37 pm
ohhhhhh i forgot - in grade 4 i signed myself up to transfer to the newest school being built in our subdivision - my parents put the kibosh on that!


can you imagine kids now being asked if they wanted to switch to a different school without getting the parents involved?
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Diane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Feb, 2003 10:05 pm
Sozobe, good luck to your husband and to you and the sozlet! Little ones tend to be pretty portable, even if they have trouble initially with change. Once they start school though, they really are better off with more consistency (ehBeth being a rare and unique little canajun).

As for me, I love change, travel, friends all over the country, planning the next trip. My husband hates change. I take off for a couple of weeks at a time, and stopped asking my husand to come along many years ago. He's happy, I'm happy. Compromise is a major reason we will be celebrating our 34th anniversary this August.
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