The last day of school is just one of the many transitions we face in our lives. How do we negotiate the frequent changes in our lives without completely losing our minds?
Bye Bye Elementary School
This morning I dropped my baby off for his last day of Elementary school. Holy Cow! How did that happen so fast? Wil is still the little Buddha baby sitting content and satisfied in his baby swing. And then there’s Maggie. Today, in her final day of 7th grade, wanted to get all dressed up, have her hair done and put on makeup. What happened to the little girl with the flowery dress dancing in the bubbles? Transition….that’s what happened! (and NO….it is not just me getting old….I’m still the Stevie Nicks wannabe in the black lace dress with platform boots wailing out “Edge of Seventeen! I Swear!)
The Wheel Keeps on Turning
Other than death and taxes, there is one other certainty in life….and that is CHANGE! Change, transition, movement is the one constant thing that we can expect out of life. The problem is that we are not really comfortable with change. Change means loss…it means the death of something….and this loss causes us anxiety, fear, worry. We become used to something, to a certain routine, to certain relationships….then suddenly….THEY CHANGE! Kids grow up. Parents age. We age. Jobs end. Relationships die and/or change. Life is a constant flow of change, change, change. The good news is that while these changes do cause us trepidation, there are graceful ways to move through life’s transitions and not completely lose our minds.
To Everything Turn Turn Turn
Since change is one of the three certain things in our lives, it might be helpful to explore some tools that help us to find peace in the midst of change.
1) Acknowledge the change….the loss…the death. Look at it. Observe it for what it is. Admit that it is real. My son is now 11 and leaving elementary school behind. My daughter wants to look good for the last day of school.
2) Take time to appreciate the good things of the past that led to this change. For example, this morning I took time to reflect back on my children as babies, toddlers, young children and remembered all the great things that have led them to where they are today.
3) Recognize change as a kind of death….a loss of sorts.
4) Give yourself permission to grieve that loss. Oh yes….I will be shedding some tears at Wil’s awards ceremony later this morning.
5) Take a DEEP BREATH. Breathe some more. And breathe again.
6) Be open to the new life that will come as a result of this transition. For Wil, I look forward to his time in Middle school. He has been emotionally ready for some time….now he will get a chance to shine on a whole new level. Maggie…..well, it is Middle School….a time of “dangerous opportunities.” For her….I will just BREATHE and hold a space for her to become who she needs to be.
Time Keeps on Tickin Tickin Tickin into the Future
What more can I say? Life is change. Period. I’m just grateful for the spiritual tools and practices that I have learned along the way which help me (the recovering compulsive planner and control freak who craves safety, security, predictability and surety) to navigate the waters of what now seems to be a daily occurrance. Change is here to stay…so I’d better get used to it!
How do you deal with transition?
What are some effective tools you have discovered that help provide support during times of transition?
Authentic Freedom Ministries