Transition

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September:

That bittersweet month for summer lovers when the lightly marked appointment books and lively green memories fade into the speckled background of fall foliage. It’s a time of new beginnings: a new school year, new projects, new ambitions, goals and if you’re lucky, a new pair of boots. Change is literally in the air, and in the quality and vibrancy of the light.

Many books are written about human beings’ fear of change. My observation is that it isn’t change we fear so much. If we’re aware that we’re stuck, then change is something that we consciously desire.

 Changing jobs, homes, locales, leaving relationships, starting them . . . these all involve major transitions.

Transition is one of those aspects of life that wise people say helps you grow. It’s true, but while you’re in it, it generally sucks. Especially when the change has been thrust upon you without your conscious choice, as it is in natural disasters. It has been theorized that every transition has the flavor of that original transition: birth. So, it’s possible that if your mother had one of those 48 hour intensive labors, you’re f–ked. At the very best, you associate transition with being pushed and smooshed out of a totally warm and protected environment into the harsh outer reality we all now call home.

Often, transition feels messy and unfocused, like you tried to change the channel on your life and all you ended up with was a screen full of static. It has a contracted quality, like you are living in the hallway of your apt. That first week after Labor Day always gets me. This year, despite my efforts to counteract it, I felt flat, spaced out, tired and cranky most of the time, with random tears welling up at commercials and news clips.

Transitions can be subtle, like seasons, or obvious, like switching jobs. Try these if you are in a transition of any sort: Moving, breaking up, changing careers, or just experiencing a seasonal shift.

Humorous and homeopathic coping suggestions for transition

  •  Throw an “I’m in transition” party. Serve beverages and hors d’oeuvres in the hallway.
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  • Avoid feeling. Instead of letting the grief of what you are leaving (no matter how badly you wanted to leave it) and the fear and excitement of what you are moving towards pass through, eat comfort food, avoid exercise, and do other things that you feel you shouldn’t.
  •  Then, focus on the fact that you should be taking better care of yourself. It may be ‘easier’ than dealing with what’s really going on.  

  • Say to yourself, “This Too Shall Pass,” in a James Earl Jones-like voice, on an as needed basis.
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  • Cradle a cat with its feet toward the ceiling and (lovingly) drop it. Marvel at how it always lands with its feet on the ground.
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  • Give advice to someone in worse shape than you. Join a cause. March for peace. Or just lie there and think about doing it.
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  •  Stir more even more change into the mix. Get a new haircut; try different coffee drink; listen to different music — go all out.
  •   And always– Love yourself no matter what.  

    4 responses to “Transition”

    1. Hi Blair,
      I love the word transition. It is definitely what makes change difficult for many.

      Years back I read a wonderful book called: Managing Transitions by William Bridges. It was incredibly helpful and now is in its 2nd edition.

      Might be a great resource for your network.

      Great post. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
      Kate

      Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

    2. gary gruber says:

      YES! Life is all about transitions from day one until the last day. How we plan or manage them often makes a BIG difference in the outcome. Life can also turn on a dime and suddenly. Then there’s little time for transition but it happens anyway. Thank you for these good thoughts!

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