I Guess I Don’t Like Change

A story in the Wall Street Journal this week indicated that Americans are staying in their houses much longer than they used to.

Homeowners nationwide are remaining in their homes typically 13 years, five years longer than they did in 2010, according to a new analysis by real-estate brokerage Redfin.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average person in the United States moves residences more than 11 times in his or her lifetime. That seems quite high when compared to the average of about 4 moves for people in 16 European countries. Another article I came across indicated that only about 1 in 10 people in the U.K. have lived in the same house for at least 31 years. This would seem to suggest that the percent of Americans who have lived in the same house for at least 31 years is well below 10%.

Personally, we’ve been in our house for 33 years, and I’ve only moved three times.

Perhaps it’s a sign of resistance to change, so these numbers got me thinking about other behaviors of mine that may indicate such resistance:

  • A 2016 survey of more than 1,000 Americans 50 and older by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that there are only 18% who’ve stayed in the same job for at least 30 years. I’ve been with the same employer for 33 years.
  • Looking at some Census data from 2009, it appears as if only about 50% of couples make it to their 35th wedding anniversary. My wife and I have been happily married for 38 years.
  • More than 50% of people who give up eating meat return to eating meat within a year and fully 84% eventually start eating meat again. I’ve been a vegan for 13 years, and see no reason to go back to eating meat.
  • the average life of a car is about eight years/150,000 miles. We have two cars; one is 16 years old with 190,000 miles on it and the other is 13 years old with 220,000 miles on it.
  • I still have some clothing from when I was in my 20s.

All of this may seem to paint a picture of someone who does not like to change things.

But I view all these items as commitment – to my spouse, to my job, to my neighborhood, to my health, and to spending wisely.

And if that’s being resistant to change, so be it…



16 thoughts on “I Guess I Don’t Like Change

  1. I think you need a balance of both change and commitment in your life and sometimes it’s a good idea to stick with what works for you. I’ve been vegan for like almost 2 years now and I’m so impressed you’ve been one for 13 years. I am going to work hard to stick with it like you have.


    1. I agree that change is important, but in other parts of our life, I think commitment is more important. It seems like you’ve gotten past the critical time period for staying vegan – way to go!


  2. There is no shame in bucking the trend. Although I believe change is the one real constant, it does not mean we need to change just for the sake of change. We must accept change when it is thrust upon us, and we must seek change when there is something negative affecting our lives. Other than that, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!


  3. 15 years we have been in this house – the longest I have lived in any home. If you count the ‘homeless’ years of moving around a lot this is my 14th home and the best location! Commitment yes as we have been married 42 years. The change of homes in that time is the great British tradition of moving up the housing ladder! But we do have a friend whose father sadly died quite young so he inherited his father’s house and that is where he and his wife lived for a long time until the house they live in now.


    1. Congrats on the 42 years of marriage, Janet! But moving 14 times sounds quite challenging. Glad you like the one you are in the best; I wish you many more years of happiness, both with your marriage, and with your house! 🙂


  4. I do not like change either and I love your view that you see it as a commitment!! Although sometimes change is good for us, and some times it’s necessary, that does not mean it is easy. Another great post!! Enjoyed reading!


  5. I see two different types of resistance to change. One can be Blockbuster’s resistance to change their brick-and-mortar video store model. That’s … not good. The other can be like Steve Jobs’ steadfast commitment to the transformation the iPod brought. It may not seem like much now, but for about two years he remained committed to the iPod in the face of sometime scathing reviews. That’s great commitment. The trick, of course, is twofold: recognizing which is which and having the strength to stick with the right choice. Neither is easy 🙂


  6. During my first nine years of teaching, I taught in five different communities. I had to roll with the punches when my position was cut two years in a row. I needed to stay put when I arrived at the fifth community. I stayed there 22 years. I am guilty of not wanting to change too much, even though technology drastically changed the environment I taught in, going from manual typewriters to personal computers.


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