Transitions are Hard: 4 Things that Help

Anyone else struggle to transition from one season to the next?  From one activity to the next?  From one year to the next?  

My kids struggle to transition and this shouldn’t surprise me at all since it’s been a battle for me since preschool years.

Moderation is also something I’m not great at.  I’m either going 90 miles an hour or flat on my back in recovery.  

This particular week finds me grumpy as I face transition on so many fronts and stuck in a paralysis that finds me procrastinating in any decision making whatsoever.   These times can either derail a person or they can lead to growth for good.   Since I’m pretty stubborn, I’ve chosen the latter. Here’s a couple things I’ve noticed:

Embrace times of recovery and rest as groundwork for growth.  I tend to look at times of recovery and rest as a necessary evil when, in fact, data shows that they are far more than that.  They are foundational for new creative endeavors. Despite what our culture would like to tell us, we are not machines.  We are designed for periods of rest, just like the earth.  When I think about it this way, it feels so much more purposeful.   I think the important thing to remember during these seasons of recovery and rest is to use them with intention rather than just using them to “numb out” or seek distraction.  Think of the things that refuel you.  For me?  That’s going outside, reading a really good book, and making things with my hands. 

Choose a path. I realized that one of the reasons I was feeling stuck in this time of transition is that I want to do ALL the things.  I have so many different dreams I want to pursue and I’m afraid of picking the wrong one to pursue.   So I find myself NOT choosing, which is a surefire way of staying stuck and grumpy and in a perpetual state of transition.  So, here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to choose.  I’m going to pray, consider, and then simply choose and then “course correct” as I go.  It is during these times when I need to remember that I’m not infinite, and so I can’t expect myself to know what is always best.  I can just work with what I have and know that there is one is who IS infinite and He’ll help me know when to course correct. 

Reflect on the past season. Often, I don’t want to let go of a past season because it doesn’t feel complete.  Reflecting on the year can be a wonderful way to bring closure and get you excited for the next season.  There may be things that you want to carry over and there may be things that you want to leave in the past.  It’s amazing what this practice can do to help you remember what is good and what has brought growth, even if it was painful and challenging at the time.  It’s a good practice to hold both. 

Remember who you are. Transitions are often difficult for me because I consistently define who I am with what I am doing.  So it makes sense that transitions would feel uncomfortable.  During times of transition, it can be helpful to remember who you are.  You are not just a list of tasks.  You aren’t a performance review.   You aren’t your messy environment.  You are…

 A creative, dynamic human being who has limits as well as boundless possibilities.  You will make mistakes, but your Creator is a master at restoring and redeeming our failures. You carry within yourself the image of the Creator that thrills at the very existence of you.  You are known.  You are secure.  You are loved.

I’ve found through time that the things I yearn to be most true about myself are always fulfilled in the God who made me.