Life right now, in my microcosm of a universe, is like a sailboat. A sailboat, that for the past month has been tossed and spun by a huge, dark storm with remarkably high winds, drenching rain, mind numbing thunder, and frantic lighting (you know all the usual stuff associated with storms). And for a moment, there was a tiny piece of me that thought, “this ship is going to capsize or crash or get deported any second now”. I mean, this storm, from where I was standing, felt like a hurricane. At least a category 2. But, you know, a little milder climate than typical hurricane weather, not really hot enough for shorts yet but too warm for jeans in the afternoon, even though it’s the end of the June and half of the northern hemisphere is sweating their tails off already! And the ocean that this “hurricane” is on is a little smaller and fresher, similar to say, Lake Ontario. But the logistics are trivial, the point is, my life is a sailboat, and we went through a month long storm. Now that we’re on the other side, I realize that maybe that wasn’t a hurricane. Or even a tropical (well really atropical) storm. It was kind of just a normal kind of storm. We have just passed that, “hey, we survived!” feeling where you count your blessings, reconsider the meaning of life, and kiss the ground because you thought you may never see it again. You look out towards the once raging seas and think, “everything is going to be ok”, until you realize, you have no idea where you are. Because the winds of this storm have spun you around and sent you in a different direction. That’s me, right now, in transition.
Change has always been something I’ve boasted about enjoying. The idea of a new city, a new job, or a new routine has always been exciting to me. And while this is still true of me today, I am starting to see why some people hate change as I am approaching my old age. I am learning that changing, like big life changing, is really bloody scary.
When life goes out of imbalance and all of the systems and schedules I had put in place that allowed me to feel grounded and organized start to shift, I just lose it. My workout routine, my flossing routine, my ability to write or respond to emails, texts messages, emails, or facebook messages, my night time routine, my morning routine, my healthy eating habits, and lastly my ability to fold clothing. They are just gone. When the dust starts to settle, I have to rebuild a lot of my systems up again (does anyone else live their life in compartmentalized systems?). That is an inconvenient reality about change. But when big life changes come, sometimes everything that you built your life on seems to hang in the balance.
After Willow was born, it took almost 2 years to rebuild new systems again. I finally feel a small sense of autonomy again and have the time and energy to better invest in myself. So when the thought of having more kids enter my mind every once in a while, I find myself feeling polar opposite emotions from one second to the next. Obviously (or maybe for some not so obviously), there are warm memories of the baby days and the love and astonishment wrapped up with the beginning of another human being. And then there is the very distant or possibly blocked memory (blast you evolution!) of how hard and taxing having a new baby was. It was one of those big life changes that threw my life into a whirlwind. I find myself asking the question, do I want to transition again? And usually the answer is no. And then I think about being 60 and having all of my children over for dinner on Thanksgiving and the answer is yes. And then I think about sleep training and the answer is no. And then I think about a baby boy sleeping heavily on my shoulder and the way I cried tears of joy when we brought Willow home for the first time and the answer is yes. And it goes on and on. Whatever answer I/we come to and when is really none of your business. You see, this storm a.k.a. “mock hurricane” we just went through was me transitioning jobs. Going through the change and the transition was/is really hard but in the end I went from a good job to an even better job. I didn’t know that was going to happen. The point is that big life changes are scary but in the end, in some way or another, everything is going to be ok. It could even be better.
If life is like a sailboat, sometimes sailing is hard and scary and rough, but everything is going to be ok.