Transitions - Training Grounds

I have been reflecting on my massive year of transition which began last May. In the course of the year, I’ve redesigned and refocused my business to support the manner in which I would like to work on a daily basis, and my longer term goals for health, balance, and happiness.

Last summer I planned and orchestrated a monumental move for my father from the home that he had been living in for thirty five years. My parents had amassed a lifetime of memories, momentos, and stuff within the walls of a 4500 sq ft home. We have been working on the house for years since my mom passed in 2010, however it still was a huge undertaking, even for a professional organizer. My sister and I had to go through every square inch of that house and help my father decide what he would move with him to a 1200 sq ft. condominium in San Diego. I conducted an estate sale, and then sale of his home from across the country. Each action and step taken, was done as if I was walking in his shoes to ensure this move was done with unconditional love and support, and with his best interests in mind, not mine.

On moving day, a rusty metal fertilizer spreader weighing seventy pounds fell off of the garage wall hitting me on top of my head, and then slicing my skull above my left ear. I didn’t see it coming but it certainly felt as if a seventy pound fertilizer spreader fell on top of my head. Thank goodness my brother and some movers were close by, heard my shriek and were able to lift it off of me. Rather than orchestrating the move, I spent most of that day in the E.R. undergoing tests and having my head stitched up. I had a significant concussion with a three month recovery period. Lesson here: things do not always go as planned.

On the home front, my husband and I helped our son navigate some significant challenges he faced during his junior year of college which eventually led to another big transition shifting him from a private college near Chicago to the New School of Architecture in San Diego, closer to home. This required a great deal of logistics, faith on all of our parts, and a lucky break on a sub-zero temperature night with a dead truck in a cell phone lot at the Chicago airport during the Polar Vortex. How many parents are carrying the weight of their children’s wellbeing on their hearts at every waking moment? By all accounts, most of us.

And then, the one we didn’t see coming…even for the goddess of planning….we ourselves decided on a Saturday afternoon this February, to take a leap of faith and move out of our 6000 sq ft home of twenty five years to a 1600 sq ft condominium. Perhaps all the lessons garnered in moving our own parents provided the realization that we really just want to have a simple life unobstructed by all of the stuff you collect when you have 6000 sq ft to put it in. We want to have experiences rather than take care of things. Our children are grown and living on their own, with the exception of our dog Harley. We realized that we do not want to burden our kids with the monumental task of downsizing us when we are older in life. So we just did it…in forty five days…we got rid of just about everything in an estate sale and we coined our move …..downsqueezing. Our kids told us we were having a midlife crisis and our friends told us we were brave.

So here we are, living a whole new life, on the back end of a year of some very difficult transitions. There was a lot of stress in coordinating simultaneous transitions, whether planned or not. It was not a year for the faint of heart and it offered up some extreme challenges at times. But through it all I had faith in the grander plan and knowing the outcomes would be worth it for each of us involved. Transitions are just part of our lives, our days, our seasons. For both the planned and the unexpected I offer the simple advice that know that the clouds will part and you will get though it. Your inner guidance will help keep you upright when you feel the tide is pulling you under. Step by step with faith move through each transition, and enlist the support of others.