When it came time to move last month, the whole process turned into a crazy whirlwind, the kind I’d hoped to avoid. In a very last minute turn of events, we ended up with a house that was not exactly what I hoped for. To be more precise, it was pretty ugly.
It’s an old home, and it needs a lot of updating. But it’s also a rental, so we don’t want to sink a lot of money into it. Still, we’re going to be here at least a year, so I’d rather not hate looking at it the entire time.
This weekend, my parents helped us buy paint, and then my dad spent his Saturday painting with us while my mom and brother kept the kids. (Can I mention here how grateful I am for my family? They’re the best!) While we still have a bit more to do, the contrast is already amazing. It’s fresh. It’s clean. Even though there are elements we won’t be able to do anything about while we’re here, I already feel so much more settled.
I hugged my dad tonight and told him tomorrow will be the first time in a month that I am excited to wake up in this house. Tomorrow, I’ll unpack my books and we’ll start putting things on the wall. Tomorrow, maybe this transition will start to feel less overwhelming and this place will start feeling more like home.
It seems crazy that something as simple as paint could make such a difference. I’m reminded that sometimes we complicate things. Maybe there is one simple step we need to take, just one, that can begin to shift things. Maybe the entire solution isn’t obvious in front of us, but one step could be enough to set the ball in motion.
What frustration have you been facing? Is there one thing you could do to push back and start the shift you are longing for?
It’s important to realize when your perspective is skewed.
For example, my life is in a lot of upheaval right now. We’ve just made a major transition, we’re not settled into our new home, there are a lot of questions that still need to be resolved. So when people ask me if I’m excited or how we’re doing, I don’t try to come up with an answer; I just say, “I don’t know.” Because I don’t. I’m too tired to know.
Earlier this week, I started pondering a decision that might need to be made. I felt my tension escalating, but before I could get overwhelmed, I recognized that this is probably not the best time to contemplate potential life decisions. I’m too tired to decide.
I’ve read this advice before—to not try to make major decisions if you’re stressed, tired, sick, etc. But I think we have to go one step further and recognize our own unique signals. There are things that might interfere with my vision, but wouldn’t necessarily bother yours. We have to be honest enough with ourselves to say, “I’m probably not seeing this in the best light right now.”
September 1 is here, and I am staring into the fog of this month, wondering what exactly it will bring.
In 30 days, my life is going to look a lot different than it does right now. A huge part of that involves moving to a new home, although where exactly that home is going to be still remains a mystery.
I’ve learned something about myself over the last few months. I don’t deal with transition as well as I’d like to. It’s one thing when there’s some clarity about what awaits on the other side of the change. But when everything looks like one enormous question mark? Well, this doesn’t bring out my finest moments.
But I want to change this. I don’t know that I can do anything to change the swirling emotions that start a frenzied dance inside of me. But maybe I could respond to them differently, in a way that births peace even in the uncertainty.
Recognizing this and accepting it about myself seems like an enormous victory all by itself. And now I am looking for the next steps to take to embrace the shift, rather than be overwhelmed by it.
Today it looks like writing for me—to give my soul space to breathe and to remind myself of what could be possible. It looks like an enormous, colorful salad for lunch—to care for this body that has a lot to do in the days and weeks ahead. It looks like lingering a little longer over a book that speaks to the process of waiting. It looks like hunting down joy and telling my husband I need to laugh with him before this day is over.
And maybe something in me can change for the better, even as life changes all around me.
What about you? How do you deal with transitions and uncertainty?