As a child, my younger son, David, was typically so engrossed in whatever he was thinking or saying that he was unaware of his surroundings. Oftentimes we would be in the midst of a change of venue or some other type of transition that required greater thought and concentration. We needed all hands on deck and certainly did not need David’s ongoing stories and questions during those moments. He wasn’t getting it.
By the time he was around 8 years old, I figured out how to help him. Whenever David heard one of us say, “David, Transition!”, he knew to push the pause button on his story and give his full attention to matters at hand. He learned that transitions don’t last forever and normal activities would resume, but for now – don’t fight the environment, cooperate with it.
Some transitions in our life are predictable, others not as easily foreseen. But in all, being able to identify the situation and the circumstances as a transition seems vital to our ability to navigate the change.
Sometimes we have to tell ourselves ‘Transition!’
It’s typically a period of time when our normal routines and approaches will not ‘fit’ and all hands are needed on deck. If we try to make everything normal during times when they are not, we may wind up frustrating ourselves or those around us. Oftentimes a transition leads to a ‘new normal’ that will require adjusted patterns, but that’s to be explored on another day.
Heading into a transition?
- Acknowledge the transition. Change is happening. Disruptions are guaranteed.
- Clear the decks of some of your other normal activities for a time to adjust to the newness of this. (ie: laundry might pile up a little, but you’ll get back to it, you always do!)
- Determine what ‘anchor activities’ to keep to help preserve a sense of continuity and rhythm, if possible.
- Lean into the Lord more. Transitions create great opportunities to be reminded of our vulnerabilities and return to greater dependency on our Father.