I don’t know if I have told you this yet, but I do not like grappling with the practical aspects of transitions. As much as I love the promise contained in great change, I hate contending with the practicalities of changing.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it is worth it to sit in that transitional space and be with all of that stress, because growth and work with change are fundamental to living a fulfilling life. I just don’t like it.
“That’s okay. I don’t have to like everything,” I tell myself repeatedly as I uproot my beloved routines and try out new ones designed to fit my ever-changing circumstances.
“That’s okay, you will figure it out,” I assure myself as I learn the hard way that my plan to do all of my coursework in one day is a deeply flawed plan.
“That’s okay, you can pause something,” I tell myself when I look at everything I have committed myself to doing. And it is okay, even if it doesn’t feel great. And I pause.
I went back to school this fall. I am at NYU Steinhardt, pursuing my Masters in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness. I have known since I enrolled that I would have to radically change my day-to-day life. I talked about knowing that I would have to stop offering some of my services, cap my client roster, and spend less time playing Two Dots on my phone. I chose to stop offering in-person training sessions and reiki sessions. I gave my clients notice and helped them find new trainers who would continue to support them. I drew out my new schedule on a white board with my husband David. The first draft had me working seven days a week. David kindly noted that a seven-day work week, no matter how much I love my work, was not sustainable. The next draft, which involved him handling all school-pickups for our daughter, allowed me to take weekends off from work (except writing.) It turned out that David’s routine had to change too.
My new plan was designed and implemented responsibly. It is sustainable and everyone is accounted for. And yet I am so uncomfortable. When I look at my schedule I feel uneasy in my stomach and then I sigh.
As you already know, I don’t have to like everything in order to change and grow. And I don’t have to find the whole process enjoyable. I just have to go with the flow the best that I can. I can weather change. That’s all I can ask of myself. Change if we like it or not, is inevitable in life. I hope you know that no matter what changes you may be facing - empty nests, new jobs, new relationship status, new home, or even a new hairdo - weathering it best you can is all that you can ask of yourself, too.