The dictionary defines Transition as “Passage from one form, state, style, or place to another.” By that definition, each of us has experienced more transitions than we can count.
Think about all the times you have changed your hair style, all the fashion choices, good and bad. How about all the moves you’ve made and how often your body has changed. Transition is a natural part of life and how we choose to deal with it depends on the severity of the transition.
For instance, if I get a hair cut it probably won’t affect me too much. I may be reminded of the change every time I look in the mirror but after a few days I won’t even notice any more. However, something like a new job or marriage would be considered major transition. We pretend that nothing will change and that is one way to deal with the anxiety of such a great transition. But there is no denying that a change has occurred. Everything around us is different. We are changing our ways in order to accommodate this new life. And our brain finds ways of coping with such a great transition. We become a little bit different. We start doing things in new ways.
And that is what transition is all about, adapting. How we handle each life change determines our outlook on life. If it’s no big deal than our perspective doesn’t change. But when the transition is a big one we have to adjust our perception in order to accommodate this change.
Right now I am going through transition. It may not seem like a big one from the outside but it’s huge to me.
For five years I have been primarily a mother. Every waking moment of my day, and let’s be honest most nights as well, have been consumed with the needs of my children. As one friend put it “I can’t even go to the bathroom without one or more of my children being involved.” And that’s the crux of the matter, when every moment is taken up by another human being, what happens when all of a sudden there are moments when you’re not needed.
When I said it may not be obvious from the outside, it’s true. You won’t notice the difference. My children are still with me all the time. I still feed them, bathe them, read to them. What changed was that now they can play together without me. They go to their Sabbath School classes happily and alone. And when I took my daughter to her first ballet class, she went in without even a wave goodbye.
Yes, my children still need my hugs and kisses but they are slowly letting go of my hand. It will be years before they are truly independent but the process is beginning and I am having to transition into a different form of mother.