Day 5,189 – Change Is Hard

RockyCWhen I consider the many road trips I have been part of in my life, from my first trip to New York City to times I have taken my family to Cedar Point, to the holiday trips to see family, I can’t imagine taking them without the Interstate system of roads we use today.

But there was a time when that same system represented something I didn’t like. That time was when the roads were being built, and it seemed that the best path for I-90 in northern Ohio went through our neighborhood, and specifically through our home.

This just didn’t make sense, to a fourteen-year-old anyway. We walked to school, we walked to Winterhurst, when it was an outdoor rink. We walked to the dime store and the Dairy Queen. We had great games of wiffleball in the street or in the vacant lot next to the Corey’s house. If you were looking for someone to play with, there were neighborhood kids of all ages. The Francos, the Weys, the Smiths, the Kocabs and the Motsingers. I had my paper route, which I think I inherited from one of my brothers. Rocky Colavito even lived down the street.

But progress is progress, and the houses were bought up, salvage material was taken, and then they were torn down and the road was built. On the plus side, we got to move to a new home that we were involved with different aspects of building. We ran wires for an intercom system, we dug ditches for drainage in the basement (OK, maybe that wasn’t such a plus), we got to pick colors and carpets for our rooms. And that same year I started high school, so there as going to be change anyway.

As many times as we made trips from the old house to the new house in the last six months, I still remember the last trip the most. I remember loading up the Country Squire one more time, I remember that Tommy and Mike Franco were standing there on the curb, and I remember the tears in my eyes as we drove away.

What I learned there I use nearly every day in my work. Change can be hard, and you need to give people time to say goodbye to the old, to participate meaningfully in building the new, and encourage exploration of what is now possible.

What’s the earliest significant change you can recall?

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