I’ve played piano for years and was asked to accompany a special presentation of the church choir. They did songs I know, but they chose to sing them in a different key than I was used to. To those who don’t have a musical background, this means that I had to play the same songs I knew- differently. This would allow the choir to sing the song higher or lower, using different tones than they otherwise would. When I started to play, my hands wanted to go where they always go... but the key was different, so I had to think and play differently. I know that I could have easily complained and the group would have obliged and followed me back to the same old sound, however, I had to admit that the key change made the same old song sound fresher and brighter with a new message for a new day.
So, I chose to change.
I spent days practicing until it felt seamless. The results were uplifting for all involved: accompanists, singers and the listening audience. I emerged a better musician.
Sometimes we can’t change the current situation, but we can change how we do things. A friend once told me that sometimes she would deliberately drive to work a different way. Instead of the highway, she’d leave 10 minutes earlier to drive through the park. Instead of going through town, she would choose a route through a quiet neighborhood. She said it gave her time to think and look at problems from another vantage point.
Change is good. Stress is often aggravated by long term sameness or feelings of being trapped in a given situation or position. Big changes don’t typically happen all at once but they are often initiated by smaller ones. It’s true of earthquakes, it’s true of life. Change is an attitude. Change is a choice. Initiate the change you seek. Circumstances may not change right away, but you can.