What can we count on in this world? Change. That is the only thing we can count on. The world and it's creatures, including us, are in constant flux. We set ourselves up for pain and angst when we try to keep things the same.
I often look out of my window at the little stream outside my bedroom and wonder how long it has been there. Has it been there since my grandfather worked here as a trapper in the early part of the last century? Before that? Will it be there after I die? The answer is yes. Probably to all of those questions. But it changes constantly. The sides change with wet years, the little waterfalls change with dry years. My point is that everything in our world changes. The pain comes when we want it to stay the same.
We want things to be predictable, we want resolution and crave security. Our conventional minds cannot grasp the dynamic flow of the universe, so we create addictions and prejudices to deal with the fear of a fluid existence. "We are like people in a sinking boat trying to hold on to the water." (Pema Chodron)
So what to do?
Let go of wanting to protect yourself from what is. Embrace each new moment. Expect that moment to be gone, and a new one will take it's place. Realize that we are a part of something that is not to be controlled. It is natural, and normal, and all that we are. Don't fear what you cannot change. Greet each new moment as though it holds the promise of a lifetime. Because it does.