What do you do when your life takes an unexpected turn?
Michael Saunders was perfectly content and relaxed on sabbatical, researching ancient artifacts in Paris, when several surprises intruded into his life. He didn’t know that his job would change drastically and exponentially.
He was abruptly called in to replace a speaker and biblical scholar who had died in a suspicious car crash on the way to the conference. Michael had spoken at many conferences in his life. He didn’t know that this one would change his life forever. He hadn’t counted on being placed in the throes of a conflict of biblical proportion and he certainly didn’t count on meeting Sandrine.
All of these changes came upon him at once. One minute his life was normal and then everything changed.
As he was examining the artifacts known as God’s Gold, he found out some classified information that the Vatican had been fiercely protecting for years. It was an international scandal that he was on the wrong side of. He became increasingly unpopular. Talk about tense relationships with your peers….
Changes aren’t always bad, though. Sandrine was the one good change he wasn’t expecting and he learned a lot from the situation [including some family secrets, that completely changed his perceptions]. All changes are going to cause stress. Even the good ones. New things always do.
New jobs, with increased responsibility, different opinions, antagonistic co-workers, and unfair biases all take their toll on one’s serenity. We often feel we are in over our heads. But we are not learning if we are always comfortable.
Why do we react so adversely to change? Simply put, our brains don’t expect change. We’ve done the same routines for years without interruption. We naturally create patterns as to how things are done. Our brain expects to do things the way we’ve always done them. Sometimes we must force ourselves to make connections between similar things. It doesn’t always happen naturally.
Change can be very exciting. Relish the excitement and novelty. If you get overwhelmed, be optimistic though you may not be happy. Nothing good ever happens without change.
Look for new skills – what can you learn from this situation? If anything, you will learn that you can handle difficult situations and people. For instance, I learned how to better manage my time when I had to take an extra side job. I was very happy with the extra money, but I was bummed because I had less time to do my personal projects. So I learned some new time management secrets that will probably always benefit me.
I used to eschew change, but I’ve been trying to seek them out. Pursue change, pursue growth, you might say. It is definitely helping me get used to them. Things don’t always end as neatly as they do in fiction. But you deal with them and learn to work through them.
I’m also putting in a plug for my friend, Marcia Fine’s book, Paris Lamb. It is a very well researched novel with intricate history expertly woven in. You won’t be able to put it down.