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  • Lisa Palanca for Palanca Leadership

Transitions


I looked up life transitions today.

I was thinking that these would be more like milestones.

I found, instead, that the examples given had to do with pain and loss:

  • Loss of a role

  • Loss of a person

  • Loss of a place

  • Loss of where you fit into the world

Wow!

I know that things change and so must we, but it doesn’t always need to be so painful. Does it?

When I look at early career teachers, I am sure there are times when they feel overwhelmed. One way to neutralize this feeling might be for them to surround themselves with a support system. A few experienced people who have been there and can give pointers when this job transition seems too much to handle..

Losing my great grandmother was a life transition for me that I was ill prepared for. I had not had someone in my inner circle die. Although she died at 95, I found this change left me feeling like my world, that had been the same and safe all my life,was cracking. No one can tell you when your loved ones will leave, so the only suggestion I have is to be present in your time and love of family. Make good memories.

These days, social media dictates to many young people where they should be in life. They see people getting married, having babies, buying houses, or joining clubs. It lends many to be anxious. They aren't "up to speed" or not doing the same things as their peers. Are they failures? Of course not.

The phrase: DO YOU comes to mind.

Please don’t rush your life and your goals because someone else is doing it. Don’t insert yourself into a marriage or children unless it is 100% what you want to do. Rushing now will lead to unhappiness later.

My daughter moved into a house this weekend. She sent me pictures of a clutter of boxes she had. These boxes came from her storage unit, her last house, and things she bought. She commented that she had forgotten some of the things she had saved. The most difficult thing now will be for her to let go of some of her past. Couple that with the fact that I have at least 6 boxes of things of hers in my basement and it really is time to get rid of some stuff. We lovingly refer to this basement cache as "CHELMART" and it sure has come in handy when I have needed a glue stick, a craft bead, or even stickers for my friend's kids. I sent her pots and pans, one at a time, each month, as part of her Christmas present one year, I am pretty sure the rest can be given away and I can downsize it all to a small box of memories.

For this adult transition, I suggest a deep purge. My parents did it when they moved from my childhood home. Each sibling received a box of pictures, memorabilia from high school, and report cards. We promptly moved them to basements and attics. Save a small box…but don’t let that small part of your life define you.

Finally, transitions are bloody uncomfortable. I feel this personally right now. I moved out of a town in which I had spent most of my adult life, for a chance at a fresh start. Sometimes it is uncomfortable to break through boundaries on my own. I have to reach out of my comfort zone every time I meet a new friend or make a business connection. Where do I fit into the world is often what I ask myself. How do I want to do this?

Without a plan, you will spin your wheels. Without some solid goals, you will start to second guess yourself. Set it up in small steps. What do you really want to do?

When I used to watch students enter school on the first day, many were approaching this transition tentatively.

Back when I was In kindergarten, a classmate of mine threw a tantrum every day while my friend and I watched. He would bang his head inside the cubby as he thrashed on the floor.

I wonder whatever happened to him.

I am sure, as he matured, he handled his changes in a much more gentle way.

The same way you should handle yourself as you move through life.

Thanks for listening.


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