BECOMING BETTER

Jean Croker Petke


Transitions

Transitions

Sunday I heard someone say, “I know this is a transition time, but once we get through this I’m hoping things will settle down.”

Transition time. How many times have we said or heard someone else say:

  • Once we get through Christmas we can get back to normal.
  • Once I get well, we can get back to our usual routines.
  • Once I get moved to my new house, we will be settled.
  • Once the kids get older, life will get easier.
  • Once I retire, I can do the things I want.
  • Once I get caught up on my sleep, I can deal with things.
  • Once I get through tax time . . .
  • Once I get my house in order . . .
  • Once I get back from my trip . . .

You know the litany. Your details may be different than what I’ve listed, but you know the feeling. Once this transition passes, life will be better . . . quieter . . . settled . . . in order . . . back to normal . . .

Here’s the issue:

  • We don’t like discomfort.
  • We don’t like disorder.
  • We don’t like unpredictability.
  • We don’t like unsettledness.
  • We don’t like not knowing.

Here’s the thing:

We are always in transition. We are always between things. We are always on our way to something else.

Webster defines transition as:

  • passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another
  • change
  • a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another

I especially like his definition of development or evolution from one stage to another. Development means growth — we are learning and becoming. Perhaps we’re changing the way we cope with what life dishes out to us.

But many times we just want things to be like they’ve always been, or used to be. But that means we stagnate. We don’t have to think. We aren’t challenged. We can do what we’ve always done. We resist changes that confront us. It’s a good way to die in place.

The challenge to myself, and to you as well, is — what if we accept transition as our normal state of living? Instead of fighting the transition what if we accept it as our daily normal? The truth is that even when we get through the current transition, there will be another one, lurking around the corner. This doesn’t mean that we don’t try to do what we can to establish some kind of normalcy — but it’s normalcy in the midst of constant transition. Constant growth. Constant things happening we hadn’t planned on.

Take a deep breath. Pause . . . pause . . .

Why is it we think life should be calm and easy and predictable? Who sold us that myth? Why did we buy it, knowing that its impossible to attain? We want to believe in impossibilities and miracles. We want to believe if we just work harder or have better control life will be easier. It won’t.

Give up the fight.

Embrace the transition you’re experiencing. See the growth and development that’s occurring as you move from this time to the next time and the time after that, from this state to the next state and the state after that.

         

Growth is a good thing — way better than dying in place.

Until next Tuesday . . .

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