- On June 6, 2019
Last week I moved to a new home, a new state, a new part of the country. My husband is working in a different capacity and from home. It’s a BIG change in my, and our, lives. My coaching and consulting work is the only consistency.
Over the course of my 27-year military career I moved often, and I don’t remember it being so hard. This time I really struggled with leaving a community I loved, and a home invested with so much of our sweat equity and memories.
Selling, moving, and buying are known to be high stress and laid bare some raging emotions. Anger. Doubt. Fear. Frustration. Trepidation. Sadness. Under stress they popped up in uncontrollable ways. It was a tough couple of months, and even with all my self-awareness and effectiveness skills I was very challenged to stay positive.
We had good reasons for moving, yet I found myself constantly comparing, and the new place always got the short end of the stick. Whatever was here was never going to be as good as what I had left. I woke up each day not in curiosity and exploration, but in expectation that here was never going to be good enough. I was priming myself to have it fail.
I couldn’t let that go on. All my energy was spent finding ways it didn’t measure up instead of finding what was good in it. No energy left for joy in my life! I could tell this was affecting my work and my relationships. Need to shift it, fast!
I needed an image, a metaphor to give my mind some bigger picture to latch on to. Hey! —it’s like a book and I’m starting to write a brand-new blank chapter. Honor the previous chapter as a fantastic story with a great ending. Now, time to write another one, just as good.
A journal on my desk open to a blank page is a physical reminder to my commitment.
Right now, I’m filling in the pages of this next chapter with the new things we were finding here. Mundane things like where to find the cheapest gas, liveliest coffee shop, freshest produce. Progress we’ve made in getting settled: installing a new light fixture, hanging pictures, potting plants for the front stoop. And most importantly, finding things to appreciate. The new birds singing outside the window. The great local park system. The mild weather.
The one rule–Everything stands on its own merits, seen with a curious and appreciative eye. It’s like the world has shown up in technicolor! I can hear the birds singing again…I miss noticing that.
How have you managed your way through a major change?
Are there any metaphors or stories that have helped you transition?
Photo: JMaliszewski, 2019, “journal”