Rona Barrett

Rona Barrett

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this life – whether it’s physically, mentally, or emotionally – I must adjust.

You’ve had to adjust throughout your life as well, so you understand perfectly what I’m talking about. Sometimes we must adjust daily and sometimes more than once on any given day.

Adjust is a transitive verb meaning: “to bring to a more satisfactory state; settle; resolve; rectify; to adapt,” according to Merriam Webster. It’s also used as an intransitive verb: “to adapt or conform oneself (as to new conditions); to achieve mental and behavioral balance between one’s own needs and the demands of others.”

When I look at the synonyms for “adjust”: modify, fine-tune, balance, transform, improve, enhance, repair, correct and rectify, the one that jumps out ¬– and not just because I’m a Libra ¬– is “balance.” Here’s what I try to do to reach my balance and ultimately adjust:

It’s knowing when to say OK and when to say NO. It’s knowing when to step up and when to step back. It’s knowing how to actively listen and how to ask for help in understanding. It’s knowing when to be patient and when to ask for patience. It’s knowing when to trust and when to be cautious. It’s knowing when to let go of the past and embrace the now, so the future will have a better chance at a positive outcome. And, it’s knowing when to adjust to change so I can affect change.

Some changes are minor and are just annoying. We can adjust to them fairly easily. Then there are those major changes that have the potential to paralyze our thinking, feeling, or acting.

Tamar Chansky, Psychologist and author, contributed a wonderful article on www.huffpost.com: Mastering Transitions: Trust that You’ll Adjust to the Changes in Your Life. She cites three predictable stages: Resisting/Reacting, Adjusting/Exploring, and Living Well in the New Old or the Old New.

Look Closer See Me – Aging & Change: Exploring Life Transitions at www.nursing.uc.edu offers seniors and their loved ones reasons why “For many people, the ‘Golden Years’ are ‘Years of Adjustment’ as they deal with change.”

Googling “seniors adjusting to life changes” will give you a plethora of additional information on how change affects us and how important it is for us to adjust to it.

I’d bet you’re nodding your head in agreement when I say it hasn’t always been easy to adjust. And oftentimes, it’s been incremental. But ultimately, when I’ve adjusted, I’ve been better able to see my way clear to how I need to think, what I need to do, how to act, and sometimes, more importantly, how to feel.

William Arthur Ward, an often-quoted writer of inspiration maxims said this about the need to adjust: “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”

There is no stopping change. But, sometimes to deal with it, I need to complain, to be optimistic, and then to adjust. It helps me to stay balanced.

Until next time ... keep thinking the good thoughts.

Senior activist and local resident Rona Barrett is the driving force behind the Golden Inn & Village (GIV), the area’s first affordable senior living facility. GIV strives to bring services to seniors so they may age in place. Reach her at info@ronabarrettfoundation.org. Visit www.ronabarrettfoundation.org for more information.

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