Life: an Adjustment Period
Recently, I was feeling bad about how poorly I believed I was dealing with something in my life when my sister said, “This is just an adjustment period.” This not only made me feel better, it stayed with me.
I began to recognize that life is filled with adjustment periods because we’re always in transition. We adjust to childhood, then we transition to the teen years, then to the young adult years. Then we are charged with the task of adjusting to the real world; partnership, family, career. Once we’ve adjusted to these things, we find ourselves transitioning into middle age and that transition leads to old age. At any time in our lives, we have to deal with losing loved ones, broken relationships, illness.
Transition, adjust; transition, adjust.
We may as well accept it. Because when we know life is filled with transitions, we know that most of the time we are in an adjustment period so we are able to be gentler with ourselves, less likely to judge ourselves poorly for not doing better than we believe we should. When we recognize that others, too, are in transition, we extend the same graces to them.
The more we resist the life changes we have to deal with, the harder it is to adjust to them. As Anthony DeMello said, it isn’t life that is hard, it is we who take it hard.
Yet it is only when we’re in transition that life is interesting; when we arrive at a coveted destination, we soon become bored. As much as we bemoan the length and the trials of the journey, after we’ve spent some time at a destination we find it loses its allure. We dream of another goal, raise the bar and move on.
We’re not wired for a destination life.
We are each transitioning at different rates through different challenges in life most of the time. We all need the support of fellow passengers on this interesting journey. We need community in our lives. We need to learn to build community, so no one feels alone as they adjust to life’s transitions.
Life! Who’s got it all figured out? I’ve spent most of my life trying. I’ve transitioned through life changes I never dreamed I’d have to face and yet I’m still here, still dreaming, still raising the bar.
And, for the first time, I find I am enjoying a delicious curiousity about the unknown and the gifts that await me, still, on this journey.
Has your journey been filled with transitions and adjustments so far? How do you handle changes in your life?
Photo: Lori – taken at my Happy Place