Change vs. transition = confusion on the Mouse’s part

I’m not advocating eavesdropping, but it’s sort of hard to avoid sometimes.

Yesterday, Diane, older Michelle, and Elizabeth were talking about estate planning (Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Living Wills, those sorts of documents). And Diane got a bit philosophical. She said something to the effect of, ‘Change occurs every now and then, but transition is constant.’ As an example, she stated that relocating to a new city or starting a new job is a change, but that aging is a transition.

I’m still not sure if I agree with that analogy.

Let’s think on it.

The dictionary defines ‘change’ several ways – 1) to put or take (a thing) in place of something else; 2) to exchange; 3) to make different, alter; 4) variety.

The dictionary defines ‘transition’ as – a passing from one condition, place, etc. to another.

To me, that would mean aging is a change, but moving to a new job or place is a transition.

I wonder if, perhaps, Diane had it backwards. That transitions occur every now and then, but changes are constant.

But then, some people would probably consider change and transition one in the same, interchangeable.

And then, if you were to throw in John Knowles’ sentiment about “The more things change, the more they stay the same”…. (John Knowles wrote A Separate Peace. It’s a good book.)

I don’t know. It confuses me.

If there was a point to this post, I’ve quite forgotten what it was now. Sorry about that.

But speaking of change and transition, I’m feeling photo-y.

Here’s 5th grade me:


And here’s me a few days ago:


Not much change. Not much transition, either. I still have the glasses (although they’re a lot smaller now). I still don’t ever wear makeup. I still wear big plain clothes. I’m still a little fifth grader inside.

Well, maybe there has been more transition. Or more change.

Or both.

Or neither!

See? Confusion.

Talk to me! What do you think?


7 thoughts on “Change vs. transition = confusion on the Mouse’s part

  1. It is a bit confusing. I think perhaps we’ve all done a bit of both throughout life, transitioning and changing. Either way, we’re not who we once were and nor are we who we will be. Throughout life, we’re constantly evolving in one way or another….

    Your 5th grade picture reminds me of mine, had glasses much like those. 😉 I still wear glasses and ones that back then I’d have been horrified to wear, ah how trends come, go, and come back again. Ah, more change or is it transition? 😉

  2. The beauty of the English language is that we have so many words for similar concepts; the challenge with being human is that we still are free to interpret and redefine these words. The English language is rife with double meanings, and contradictory meanings to statements and concepts. This is an excellent example!

  3. Funny – I always thought of change as something that happens all the time, while transition is a certain kind of change when we shift from one state to another…in a more positive sense. Not sure if that helps….kinda the opposite way round, but the same sorts of ideas underneath, I think….

    • That’s what I think, too, now. Change happens all the time, like aging. Transitions could be be positive or negative – perhaps it depends on perception. Like, all the moves turned out to be positive transitions in my life, but at the times they happened, I thought some of them were negative. That’s a good idea, actually, the positive and negative sense.

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