It was a rough morning yesterday when I tried to get everyone out of the door so that I could make the 8:15 am Total Conditioning group lesson at Lifetime. Jake had a fever earlier in the week and had to miss school for two days when he spent much of the day lying on the sofa and watching TV. So yesterday morning he was doing the same thing and wasn’t happy when I told him we had to get going. When we finally piled into the car, nobody was in their best mood.

After a tough class run by a sub teacher with plenty of heavy breathing and sweating, the three of us headed to our next stop: Tae Kwon Do for Jake and dance lesson for Joe and me. When we were 5 minutes away from the studios, I realized that Jake’s uniform wasn’t in the bag. I was livid with myself.

“No problem. We’ll turn around to get it.” Joe said calmly and lovingly.

“We’ll be so late. I don’t even know if it’d be worth it to go back.” I commented as we were approaching home.

“It’d be totally worth it!” Jake chimed in.

We turned around and made it to classes twenty minutes late.

At the end of our dance lesson, Peggy, our instructed, asked, “Are you bringing anyone to the Star of the Night tonight?”

“The dance is TONIGHT?”

“Yeah? Because you guys are leaving for China next Friday …” The shock on Peggy’s face clearly was a mirror reflection of mine.

“I thought it was October 28th.” I covered my face with both my hands.

“Can you still make it though?”

“We’ll make it …” I knew we had to reshuffle the activities for the rest of the day in order to get ready.

Next stop – Jake’s soccer game. I sent out a few text messages. It was too late to get a babysitter and too last minute to have anyone come and watch us. Oh, well, Jake would have to come along to be our honored guest.

I had a hair perm appointment in the afternoon. But now I wouldn’t have time for the 3-hour procedure because our Bachata still needed a lot of work. I left Mary, my hairdresser, a message.

Mary didn’t call me back. So I decided to go anyway just to have her wash and style my hair for the dance. I rang her doorbell at 3 pm. Mary came to the door with a puzzled look on her face.

“You have time for your perm today? You appointment is tomorrow.”

“Did I say Sunday instead of Saturday?” I couldn’t believe my memory could have fooled me three times in one day. I got a new phone last week and hadn’t figured out how to use the Calendar feature.


“Okay… I’ll come back tomorrow…. But could you do my hair because I just found out a few hours ago that I was going to dance tonight. I am so sorry for showing up like this.”

“No problem. Come on in!”

As she was working on my hair, I told Mary about my awful day, my new job, all the changes my family would have to go through because of it, and the difficulties of finding people to drive Jake twice a week to his skating classes. Seventeen years at the same job had earned me enormous amount of flexibilities. Now I was giving it all up for a supposedly new and better opportunity.

All of a sudden, it struck me that my recent escalated stress had come from the anxiety and anticipation of change. Most of the time, we don’t want what we have, but at the same time we hate the unsettling fear and doubt that change brings. So we allow ourselves to be trapped in our own misery because at least it is familiar and predictable. Joe and I had gone through the pros and cons of the job change and decided that even though it might cause short-term instability and uncertainty, it’d be beneficial long-term.

As I was babbling on and on, Mary interrupted me, “What time are Jake’s skating classes?”

“4:20 pm on Tuesday and 4:40 pm on Friday. Someone can take him on Friday, but Tuesday is still a big question mark.”

“You stop worrying and I’ll take him. It’s no problem.”

“Really? You’d do that for me?” A shot of warmth went up and down my spine.

“Sure, I’ll do it for you. That’s what friends are for, right?”

“Thank you! If I can find someone else, I won’t bother you because I know you are a busy lady.”

Driving home, I had a new perspective. “Things are going to work out. Tuesday’s private lesson can be cancelled, no big deal. Joe is very supportive. We can manage this transition as a family!”

Our dance performance last night wasn’t one of our best. But we showed up, had fun, and reconnected with some of our friends including Rose, the 83-year-old beautiful dancer. Peggy as usual was extremely proud of us.

Changes can be scary. And yet some of the greatest growth and feelings of accomplishment are achieved by diving into the unknown. So go for it, girl!