For Those of Us Who Adjust Slowly to Change

For those of us who adjust slowly to change, we will re-find our footing here in this new season. Eventually. In our own time. And that's okay.

I spent the morning reading in a hammock, peeking up at the palm trees above me to lock them in memory. I had tagged along with my husband to his work conference in Florida, and we were going to be flying back home to the midwest that afternoon.

He spent his days in meetings, while I spent mine soaking up sunshine and rain and all the green. And getting to choose how I spent my time without interruption (stuff I didn't know to dream of before I had kids).

Each day I walked from the little resort's lobby with blended coffee in hand. That first day, I stopped just past the little wooden bridge in front of the wall of greenery that surrounded the pool area and impulsively smiled. My heart felt so full that it threatened to release in the form of tears.

I can't explain it, and I don't think we have to explain what makes us feel alive, but green plants and sunshine in that moment made me feel so happy I could cry. Like I'd returned home--the place I was always meant to be.

To mix it up, I left the serenity under the hammock and relocated to read by the pool. Again, spending as much time reading as mentally scanning the abundance of luscious green plants into my memory bank.

Longer reading breaks were for floating in the cool water to get relief from the heat of the morning sun. Just me and a couple elderly women relaxing at the edge of the calm end of the pool. The hammock and the pool and the palm trees--it's the stuff vacation dreams are made of.

Within a couple hours we were already packed up and on our way to the airport. A storm rolled in, delaying our flight, followed by another hour-plus delay while we sat on the plane. With each minute that passed, that morning's relaxation drifted further and further away.

By that same night, I went to sleep exhausted in my own bed in Nebraska. It was like the morning was a distant dream I wouldn't have believed was real if I hadn't taken pictures of it and spent so much time taking it in to try not to forget.

This is the disoriented space I often find myself during seasons of transition... like waiting in the airport for our direct flight from relaxed summer days full of sun and green, straight to the uber structured days of the school year followed closely by a long season of cold.

There's definitely good to each season that comes around. It often just takes me a moment, or a few, to re-find my footing there. To become reoriented to finding joy in this simple present, not the one from before that I yearn for.

If you, like me, adjust slowly and sometimes reluctantly to change... there is space for us to transition at our own pace. We don't have to rush from season to season as quickly as we perceive others doing so.

We don't have to be ready for the school year when the supplies come out in July, or ready for fall when the Halloween costumes start being displayed on the same day we posted the kids' back-to-school pictures. Or ready for summer when the swimsuits show up while there's still snow on the ground. I happen to love summer, so that one is just a cruel tease.

We can rush into the next season if we choose to, but we don't have to. We can take it at our pace, fast or slow, readily or reluctantly.

Following is what helps me get through a season transition when I'm reluctant to accept what's next:

1. Look around and find something to be grateful for here.
My go-to is my people. Even if they sometimes stress me out, they are still the part of life I'm most thankful. I also experience a reflexive deep sense of gratitude when I am in places I love (nature or my simple living room), or when I spend time doing things I love (flipping through magazines for inspiration or writing).

2. Remember, or create, something to look forward to.
There is usually something coming up that makes the next season feel worth diving into. Whether it's pleasantries of the season (summer is my jam, but I do love a cozy sweater and hot drink in the cooler months); an event or gathering; or some new role or opportunity (like my return to blogging now that my youngest is at preschool). If I have nothing to look forward to, that usually means it's time for me to plan something like inviting friends over or finding local events to attend.

3. Give self grace to not live in this in-between with as much ease as desired.
The first few days of any transition feels deeply uncomfortable to me. Even if it's a transition I've been through before or have looked forward to. The first days of school, the first days of summer, even the first days of switching up something in our home. Instead of being frustrated by that, I'm learning to expect it and let it happen, knowing the feelings often calm within a day or two.

Those of us who are reluctant to change will adjust to this new season.

Eventually. In our own time.

And that's okay.


also see:
new? start here...
lessons on slow
self-care over the long haul
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