I saw my friend Nancy at a party the other night. After the obligatory, “Oh, it’s been too long!” and “You look great!” and “How are your kids?”, she said:
“Michele, you used to write your blog every week. Every Sunday I looked forward to hearing from you and getting a little insight and inspiration. What happened?”
Nancy said what’s been in my own mind. I started writing you all in 2006. Every week – every week for over ten years. It has been a very big part of what I do. And for some reason, I just stopped doing it.
I got into 2017 and felt myself sputter. I mean, over more than ten years hadn’t I said everything that needed saying?
Then, too, I started experimenting with longer posts on Facebook to great results. (If we’re not friends there, you can find me here.) So my writing needs felt somewhat satisfied.
But not totally.
The Wise Nancy said, “Michele, write about transitions. Write about dealing with the chaos we find ourselves in. Write about change, and coping with all the craziness. Write about that.”
Which is somewhat ironic because I have found myself in the same transition Nancy’s feeling. And I bet you’re feeling it, too. How could you not?
I used to think about transition in a very linear way – you started here, traveled a bit, then found yourself there. Finally, blessedly, relieve-adly there.
But now I see transition in a different way. It’s a bunch of stuff going on all at once. Different starting points, different middles, different endings, simultaneously.
You could be a person who’s sending a youngest child off to school while changing jobs while guiding an elderly loved one through hospice while starting a healthier routine while settling into a new house and getting marriage counseling.
Am I right?
And rather than there being a definite end point where you can breathe a sigh of relief and say, “Woosh. Glad that’s done” you end up saying, “OK, done. What’s next on my plate?”
My best advice to you if you are human and dealing with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, as Shakespeare would say, is to appreciate that a continual loop of beginnings, middles and endings is the nature of our existence. It’s living.
Rather than resist, or pretend that it’s not happening by sticking your fingers in your ears while muttering “nanna nanna nanna, I can’t hear you!”, why not get curious? Ask yourself what there is to learn at this point of the process. Learn whatever it is. Then find the way to love that you are on a distinctly human journey, accompanied by other people on their own human journey.
You can call it transition if you want – but really what it is… is living.