In just one week, we'll be celebrating the official start of autumn: the ultimate season of change, so gorgeously represented by refreshing whiffs of cool breezes and leaves shifting from green to gold. However, personal transitions and transformations don't always feel quite so smooth and sweet — in fact, it's often deeply difficult to adjust to the unexpected and unfamiliar.
My youngest baby is three weeks old. Three weeks. My oldest baby started kindergarten one week ago. Suffice it to say, my family is enduring a bit of change as of late. And while we — myself, my husband, five-year-old son, two-year-old daughter and the newborn — are doing our very best to embrace our new normal, it has certainly not been without its challenges.
So while my “change” consists of new schedules, less sleep, and much more love to dole out accordingly, yours may look and feel different. But regardless of how change has crept up or steam-rolled into your life, what I do know is that oftentimes transitions feels the same for many of us: hard. Change is an uphill battle, if you will.
But we can conquer this new terrain, one foot in front of the other. We can even push ourselves to embrace this new perspective and way of life. Because who ever said that perfect was, well, perfect? When we are forced to adjust, to alter and reorient ourselves, we grow, learn and evoke a new sense of being, one that may even be better than before. And as much as we may resist change in all of its forms, it is coming. Because as Greek philosopher Heraclitus reminds us: “The only thing that is constant is change.”
Here are a few ways I’m choosing to welcome this new life (quite literally) and muster the courage to accept with grace the small but mighty shifts in our every day routines.
Allow breathing room. It’s okay to ache for the time when life was steady and predictable, to take a moment to right yourself for the here and now. Life is different now. Chaos can be unnerving, so let it be, even if just for a moment.
Practice acceptance. My motto: no use in swimming against the tide. The waves are headed your way and you’ll get much further by swimming with them than fighting against them (a metaphor for life in general, perhaps?).
Pivot when necessary. Change begets change, so as you find yourself acclimating to new circumstances, get creative. Get out of your own way — and, if needed, modify to accommodate where you are now.
Think big picture. This is your life. All of it. And though your days may seem a bit wayward right now, overall, you are where you need to be. You may not like it, but you do need to learn to love it. (It’s much easier this way, promise.)
Above all, persevere. Keep going, keep being you and keep your head up. The growing pains of change may be short-lived or long-winded, but such is life. Adaptation defines us, and by embracing this new season of our lives, we chart new territory in the most beautiful of ways.
p.s. How to embrace change on the dating scene (at any age).