Our youngest child recently graduated from college. As you read this, my husband and I will have just dropped off her furniture and belongings at a storage unit in the town to which she is moving. Once again, our little family is in transition. Once again, we’ve reached the end of a chapter in our family story. The undergraduate years are behind us. So are the exorbitant expenses my husband and I have laid out, and the way we’ve had to schedule family vacations and gatherings around class schedules. And like all transitions, it feels good and it feels emotional.
Many times, it has seemed the transitions in our family have coincided with transitions in my art or business. I’ve rarely had the luxury of focusing on just one thing at a time. Work and family seem always to intertwine. I’m sure you can relate. And now as I’m waiting anxiously to see how my two new college graduates settle into their new lives and careers, I’m also focusing on my own new directions as I launch a new book and website and services, etc.
I’ve always been someone keenly aware of transition. Oddly enough, I feel it every time the seasons change. When winter gives way to spring, I’m glad to see the snow go, but already missing that feeling of snuggling up under heavy blankets on a cold night. Oddly, too, I feel it when I finish a book and require a little breathing space to miss the old book before I can dive into a new one. So, if I feel even the little transitions in life, it’s only natural to feel the big ones even more, right?
Maybe it’s because I was raised with a strong work ethic and “quit-making-such-a-big-deal-out-of-everything” messaging, I’m not very good at allowing myself time to mourn or even adjust to the passing of something in my work or life. I tend to zero in on what lies ahead. Besides, a part of me is grateful for change. How boring life would be if it always stayed the same.
But the noun “change” means the act or instance of making or becoming different. Becoming different! That’s no small thing. So maybe I need to have a little more respect for change. It’s not something simple, something that can be easily brushed off. It’s a transformation. And that’s something for which we should stand in awe. Change is not nothing, it’s a very big something and it’s an opportunity to take stock, to feel gratitude, to express love, to understand ourselves and others a bit better, and to grow.
So, best of luck to my fledgling adult children and to my little family as we navigate this new phase in our relationship. And best of luck to me and those who work with me as we navigate our new purpose in our work. And best of luck to you in whatever transitions you are currently moving through and however you personally navigate them. If you can, do take a minute, though, to stand in awe of your changes.
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