Transitions, life is full of them. There are small transitions like getting out of bed each morning, although I am sure most would argue this is no small feat, and then there are huge transitions like having a baby, selling your first home, moving out of state, buying a new home or even starting a new job. My little family is about to endure all of these large life transitions within about a month span of time this summer. Oh and did I mention, I do not handle transitions well?
As a kid, as I was so nervous to start middle school. The tragedy at Columbine had just occurred, and I was about to enter a middle school that was also attached to a high school. I remember praying for God to make me better at transitions because I already realized as a seventh grader that transitioning was not a strength I possessed. At the time I did not realize that God does not just give you a skill, but instead you develop it over time and through practice. Since saying that prayer, this girl has had a lot of opportunities to practice getting better with transitioning.
Fortunately, I married a man who is pretty spectacular at transitioning. If he does have anxiety about major life shifts, he healthily handles them, ultimately helping me, but also bringing to light just how much I continue to struggle with transitions. Being married and having gone through some significant life changes together; including 6 moves (internationally, across different states, just down the street) over the course of our 7 years of marriage, changing jobs, graduating, having our daughter, among many more has granted my husband a front row seat at watching me ungracefully handle life transitions. Oddly enough, I love change and trying new things, which is what keeps me going through transitions. What can I say, I am a woman full of contradictions!
I like to think I have gained some insight on how to make these next transitions go as smoothly as possible! I am determined to make this summer’s transition my best life transition yet! Below is the list of how I plan on surviving this next life upheaval.
Accept that nothing will go according to my plan
I am a bit type A. I like organizing and planning, which I have discovered creates a lot of anxiety for me because I want to control every little detail. However, if I have learned anything in life, it is that life cannot be controlled! Luckily, I have found life works out better than I would have planned anyway, so now it is time to sit back and see how this next chapter unfolds.
I have found taking time to quiet my mind and really ask God for help has made all the difference with my anxious thoughts. When I find myself mulling over details as I am about to fall asleep at night, praying helps me to alleviate the need to plan and just know that everything will work out because God’s got this!
Take it one day at a time
I know this is cliche, but it is cliche for a reason because it actually works! I am a detail oriented person by nature, while my husband is the big picture guy. He often is the one with the vision, and I am the one that makes it happen. However, I have let details overwhelm me in the past. When I find myself feeling overwhelmed, I take a step back now and think what can I actually work on right now vs. what can wait. Granted, I have not perfected this yet, but I am proud to say I can recognize when I need to breathe and focus on what is important for the day.
Write things down
Along with taking things one day at a time, when I have that overwhelming need to get everything done right now, I have learned to write it down instead. This helps clear my mind, knowing whatever needs to get done is now written down, and I can return to it when the time is right.
Of all the things I have learned this has been the hardest one to grasp and I still definitely struggle with it. I am fiercely independent and have a hard time putting into words how others can help me, which means I end up exhausting myself with trying to do everything on my own. Since having my daughter, I have learned how to delegate more effectively because this mama simply cannot do it all. While I have a ways to go to improve this area, I hope for this to be my focus in this next transition.
Find the good among the chaos
I am quite optimistic, but even I have a hard time seeing all the goodness when I feel like life is out of control aka any time I have a major life transition. I have made it a practice to reframe my thinking when I find myself focusing on the bad instead of seeing all the beautiful things happening around me, even if on the toughest days it is simply that I am still breathing.
Share with others
One of the most beautiful things in life is that we don’t have to experience it alone! I know I am not the only one going through significant life transitions and what creates strong relationships is opening up about the craziness that is happening.
Lastly, if all else fails, I just have to get outside. Even if it is only for a few minutes, a walk recharges me to take on whatever it is that needs to get done.
I pray that whoever else is about to embark on a major life transition, that you can find ways all your own to make it your smoothest transition yet! You got this!