Thursday, August 12, 2010

Transition - a Word I Know, but Have Yet to Learn How to Do

I actually like change. Yet I am never comfortable with the transition that precedes it. There are so many examples of transition that I could reference to illustrate my frustration.

Like learning how to drive a stick shift. That moment of physical transition when you put in the clutch and shift, hoping you won't stall, is uncomfortable to me - sort of like being in limbo.

Okay, then there's actual limbo - the waiting room of heaven - no, this is not a literal place, nor is it doctrine, nor is it biblical. But we all know what it is. Nothing really bad happens during transition - it just feels a little uncomfortable. These are the moments of lull where you might change your mind about what you thought you were going to do.

Like when I was having my babies - that moment when you say, "Well, yeah, I've decided I don't want to do this today after all!" The doctor said that meant I was entering transition.

There's twilight - a place between dusk and dark. It's difficult to see well during twilight (and NO this is a not a reference to a certain young adult book series). You might mistake one thing for another - like a bunny for a python.

Right now I am in transition. I choose to put myself in this place more often than I probably should. After all, I'm the one making the changes, making a new decision, or entering unfamiliar territory. I realized, however, that everyone is in a state of transition - we are all becoming. Sometimes we have control over this, others it is involuntary - something we just have to go through. Either way, I think I might be better able to go through my own transitions if I focus on someone or something else. The more I think about how uncomfortable things are, the more uncomfortable they become. Like learning to drive a stick shift . . .

School is about to start and our kids are in transition. I think of the sixth graders I taught last year who will soon by 7th graders - whom we lovingly call the stepchildren of education - not quite sure who they are or where they belong - they are in transition. They need some TLC, some understanding, and a lot of attention. When you are in transition the worst thing that could happen is to find yourself alone.

Even if you are the one struggling through twilight right now, there's probably someone else in your life you may not have noticed who is even more uncomfortable. Can you be there next to them and put your hand on theirs and show them when to shift into first?

It makes transition go by that much easier when you have a hand to hold onto.