My daughter pulled the clothes out of the dryer. They immediately went into her basket and then to the car. I looked at the packed car filled with her kitchen utensils, blankets, favorite items and more. I looked at her and knew the tears were coming from my eyes. Mom, don’t cry, she said. I know she had tears in her eyes, too, but she was trying to avoid the emotion or—heaven forbid—let me, her mom, know that this was hard for her, too. As I looked at this beautiful young woman standing before me, I couldn’t help but also see the 4 year old who loved ladybugs and wore dresses in public but ran around in her bathing suit at home. The saying that time flies may just be real. Some piece of me knew it would be ok and yes, she was only moving across town. But I also knew the relationship would never be the same.
This has been on my mind so much lately because now it is time for my son to move on to his next step. This one feels a little different—and yet the same. The difference is that, due to the pandemic, our son lived with us an extra two years. We have shared coffee together almost every morning, worked out at the gym two to three days a week and even played music together. To say that a piece of my days will be missing is an understatement.
But I am a mom. I know that my job is to prepare my kids for the future. It’s not about me—it’s about them. It is about preparing them for the future. It’s about making sure they have learned skills and that they are equipped to not just survive but thrive. I realize that it is time for them to fly. I also notice that the more I want to hold on, the more I need to let go. This, too, is a gift that I must give them just as my parents gave this gift to me.
We all experience different transitions in our lives. Whether it is being a parent, starting or leaving a job, doing projects, dealing with death and more, we know that there will be transitions. We know that it can be uncomfortable. I am inviting us to learn how to be comfortable in the uncomfortable. I’ve put together a few tools that have helped me in this process and I would like to share them to you.
- It is important to have things that ground you. This may be a favorite song, photo, memory—you get the idea. When something starts to feel uncomfortable, you can focus on something that grounds you. Spend time doing this until you notice comfortable again.
- Make sure you are connecting with others. Sharing your experience with others is important. Sometimes it normalizes things. Sometimes you need to be heard.
- Write about this experience of being comfortable in the uncomfortable. Capture what is going on for you. Notice threads. Notice what is asking to be honored. Honor it.
- Capture important memories. Set boundaries for yourself around them and how you want to integrate them into your life.
- Special Time. Schedule special time with important people during the transition. For me, I have special coffee/lunch times with my kids—even if it has to be online. For those who have passed, I will take time out once a month to have a special memory time where I remember the gifts I received from someone.
I hope these tips have helped you be more comfortable in the uncomfortable. Notice the shifts and notice how your awareness helps serve you in the process. I’d love to hear about any other tips you may have or how you’ve applied some of these!
Blessings, Peace and JOY—