“The only constant in life is change.” I know this is not the first time you have heard this quote. From a quick web search, it seems to have originated from a Greek philosopher, Heraclitus. What a wise person, as every time I am facing challenges in my life, I come back to this quote. It has helped me to cope with the fact that if I want to continue growing and be happy, I have to embrace the change. I don’t know about you but sometimes the constant change can lead to significant stress and overwhelm. Sometimes it feels like just when you have adapted to a new change, another is right behind. I have had to learn, and relearn, that change is constant. Recently I made an observation and today I’m sharing a pineapple story of change.
This story begins at the end and a photo of me holding a pineapple. I know a photo of me with a pineapple is not uncommon, but this particular pineapple is special. It is special because we grew this pineapple ourselves. The story of this pineapple started in July of 2019 when we took a family trip to Hawaii. It was one of the most magical family vacations we have ever taken and part of it included a tour of the Maui Gold pineapple fields and processing facilities. As part of the tour, each person can take a pineapple home for free so we brought four pineapples back with us from Maui on the plane. Maui Gold pineapples are a different variety than others sold in the states with a much less acidic and sweeter flavor.
When we got home, we ate the pineapples and then thought we would try to grow our own from the tops we cut off. Our tops rooted really quickly and we moved them to pots to grow while still living in San Antonio. According to the tour guide in Maui, a pineapple plant typically takes 18-24 months to produce a pineapple fruit so we knew we were in for a bit of a wait, but ours have taken 4 years and one month. I’d like to share why and how constant change impacted our pineapple plants.
This timeline captures life events that happened to us during the growing process of our pineapple plants. As you can see, our plants were impacted significantly by moves and mother nature. It is impressive that they overcame frequent change to finally produce our first sweet fruit and it is a testament that good things will come if you stay focused on growing.
As a family we have been through a lot of change and growth over the last 4 years as well. Reflecting on this reminds us what we have seen, learned and overcome as a family. Most recently we moved our daughter to college for her freshman year. Everyone asks me how I’m doing as a mom with this change. Surprisingly, I’m doing well and it helps that she is only a little over an hour away. She has had to overcome many changes in life including multiple moves so she is ready . I see this most recent change as a natural part of life and I am excited for her to experience new things and most importantly, have FUN during these unique college years. Looking back on my younger years, college was one of the most impactful times in my life from dating my husband to getting to learn from excellent professors and meeting lifelong friends. College is also the time when you get to separate from your parents and decide who you really are, what you really believe and start forming what you value for the rest of your life. I want my kids to truly enjoy their college experience and discover their passion.
There are several things I have had to learn about dealing with constant change. The first is to not get worked up or stressed out over each new change. This is much easier said than done. It is much easier to worry about the change and what problems may be lurking around the corner. I have done this and think that I will forever be challenged with trying to moderate my reaction to what can be perceived as negative change. My biggest shortcoming is overthinking and allowing my thoughts to swirl negatively to the point that it impacts my mood and even health. Some of the tactics I have successfully employed include getting regular exercise, intentionally spending time with friends and family and keeping a gratitude journal. These things seem to help break the negative thought spiral and I’m sure you have your own tactics you have learned over time. I would love to hear about them in the comments if you are willing to share.
Thank you for reading and have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend!