Thursday, December 13, 2007

Change & Loss

I was reading a review of "The Year of Magical Thinking" in which Joan Didion wrote about becoming a widow. In the review, there was reference to the work of Peter Marris "Loss & Change" Marris is a sociologist and urban planner. Marris says, "Change is costly in terms of time, effort and temporary loss of confidence and effectiveness... One person's reform is almost inevitably someone else's loss of meaning."
According to Marris there are 3 kinds of change:
(1) substitution (exchanging the old for a better new)
(2) evolution (gradual change with time to reorient and reform significant attachment
(3) deep loss (the sudden disappearance of something or someone valued)
My experience is that life is complex and often all three types are occurring at the same time. A relocation is an evolution but in the process you throw out some things very important to you because it's easier to travel light and often there's a deep loss that just proceeded or just followed the move - the death of a parent, children leaving home, a defining activity ending. You can find the article in the June 2007 edition of the journal Academy of Management, Learning and Education if you have access to a portal.

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