Friday, July 20, 2012

Navigating Circumstances

On July 24th, 2012, my wife and I will be celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary. As we sat back and reflected upon this the other day, we realized one really key point about our time knowing each other and being in this marriage. What was it? We haven't really changed as people, but our circumstances surely have changed. When we met I was about to graduate with my master's degree at James Madison University. I was accepted to UNLV for my doctorate and was heading out to Vegas not too long after graduation. Michelle was a labor and delivery nurse. We had a lot more down time and we were both just trying to figure out where we our lives were headed. Now we knew that being together was definitely going to happen, but we didn't know that our circumstances would change so much over the years. I mean, how can you really know because as Michelle says, "you just spend time living and don't think a lot about how things will change."

In each of our lives it is rare that circumstances don't change. It is more of a certainty of life. People grow up and experience so many different things in life that do help to shape and mold you, but ultimately you maintain your psychological core. You maintain the roots of what make you...you. However, our circumstances change wildly as more things happen in your life. When Michelle and I were first starting our life together things were so simple. We lived in Pennsylvania. She went to work and I went to school. Period. We now live in Vegas. Michelle goes to work, goes to school and is the mother to our beautiful daughter. I now manage a private residential fitness center, am a corporate executive, run a fitness networking organization, have a small personal training business outside of my main gig and am a father. This is a lot of change in anyone's lives so our biggest challenge that we discuss is how we manage the constant evolution of our professional and personal lives.

We can't go back and have the crazy amount of down time that we used to have. We can't just get up and go on long weekend vacations like we used. We have to adjust like any good coach would do with their team during a timeout, half time or in preparation for the next game. The danger comes when people do not make the necessary adjustments to the changing circumstances in their lives. You are going to be you and you know what? That's ok. A great partnership is not about changing fundamentally who the other person is. Only the good Lord can make that change. Instead, you have to invest in effectively navigating the high and low tides of life as the years pass on by.

So, how do you do that? Communicate regularly with your significant other, close friends, mother, father, brother, sister, etc. If you are in any type of committed relationship with someone you must communicate how you will tackle the changes in your circumstances. Honest, tactful and kind communication with others will always positively steer your relationship through the changing components of your life.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and I wish you all well in navigating the changing circumstances in your life.

Until next time...

Dr. D
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