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Change unsettling? Go with the flow - Valerie Baldowski

There's an old saying, "The only constant in life is change." My brain knows that's true, but my emotions, sometimes, struggle with the concept.

Change is often a bit unsettling, and when the winds of change blow unexpectedly, I have to give myself a little pep talk.

A former employer once distributed, to all the employees, the book "Who Moved My Cheese?" The book discussed change and how some people deal with it. Some can't handle change, it said, and come unglued when their predictable and ordered lives take an unexpected twist. Others deal with it better, rolling with the punches and trying to be as flexible as possible.

Ironically, shortly after that, mass layoffs began when the company was acquired by a larger corporation, and we all found ourselves in the unemployment line. Think, maybe, someone higher up knew something we didn't?

By that time in my life, I was getting accustomed to change, after a few earlier experiences taught me that there are some things in life we just can't control. I remember when Coca Cola decided to change its formula, the one everyone knew and loved as "The Real Thing." The soft drink company tweaked the soda's recipe just enough to make it way sweeter, and less carbonated. People were furious. I was upset, too, and I stopped drinking it for a while. Sales plummeted, and no matter how hard the company marketed its "New Coke," its sales didn't pick up.

So the company gave in, and with much fanfare, announced that its "Classic Coke" would be brought back. Looks like the company had underestimated the American public. A few years later, the company that makes one of my favorite cereals, Cracklin' Oat Bran, decided to change the recipe, and began adding cinnamon to it. It just didn't taste the same, and I was quite disappointed they would mess up my cereal. Heck, they didn't even ask my opinion before changing it. Needless to say, I no longer buy that cereal.

Then, there was the candy episode. For some strange reason, the folks who make M&Ms decided they needed to change their candies. They did away with the tan M&Ms and introduced instead, blue M&Ms. I was shocked. Why blue? It's not a very appetizing color for a candy. I still eat M&Ms, but it's just not the same.

By far, the biggest disappointment to me in the candy arena is what they did to my beloved five-flavor Lifesavers. One day, the candy manufacturer had the gall to take away lime lifesavers and introduce, in its place, GREEN APPLE! Again, I ask, why? I used to happily eat all the flavors. Now, I don't buy five flavors, because it's too much of a hassle to go through and separate the green ones from the others. To make matters worse, they don't make my other two favorite flavors anymore, Stik-o-Pep and Cryst-O-Mint.

And, by the way, anyone who remembers Nerds candy from a few years ago may recall the flavors lemonade and limeade, and cherry and orange, in the same box. I absolutely loved that. Then, those flavors disappeared, and now all you can find is the crazy mixed flavors, like apple-coated watermelon and kiwi strawberry.

Plus, I just checked the web site for the flavors of Starburst jelly beans, and it lists one of the "classic" flavors as green apple. Wrong. It used to be lime. I found that out the hard way when I bought a bag of them, and had this rude flavor explode in my mouth. (I guess it's obvious I don't like apple candy.)

So, I guess I'll just do the best I can in dealing with change. Maybe, I should start hoarding my favorite candies, in case they vanish forever.

Valerie Baldowski covers government and politics for the Henry Daily Herald. She can reached via e-mail at vbaldowski@henryherald.com.