Help! I’m in Transition

I remember when I first found out that I was pregnant with my first baby, that was over fifteen years ago. I was filled with awe, anticipation and trepidation – all at the same time. It was a strange feeling knowing that another human being was forming inside of me.

The following few months were not without the usual symptoms of early morning sickness and discomfort. However, I endured the changes, knowing that I wouldn’t remain pregnant forever, and so I eagerly awaited this gorgeous prince.

I sort of suspected then that my life would never remain the same. Even after the birth of ‘my only son’ as I like to jokingly refer to him at times, I knew that my life had transitioned or changed from one stage to another. This change left me transformed into a mother. It also left me reformed in my perspective and approach to life.

When our son was born, I was surprised that while everyone was rejoicing around me and excited about this new baby, a part of me was wondering how much disruption this little bundle of joy would cause. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my new-born baby. However, I could already see how his arrival was beginning to dictate my life: when I slept, woke up, had a shower and even where I went and when I went.

No one told me that having a baby was such a big deal. It’s taken years to get adjusted to being a mum. It’s a journey you continue on for life. To begin with, I didn’t think my new-born would depend on me so much for everything – I mean everything! There were times when I felt close to tears but was afraid to show my anxieties.

Transition, according to the dictionary means movement, passage, or change from one state, stage or concept, to another.

When we are in transition, we begin to evolve; just like I was evolving into a mother in my pregnant state. Going through a transition can also lead to growth, progress and transformation. You cannot be going through a change and not feel as though something is being altered, or that your life is going through an adjustment.

As wonderful as a positive change can be, it can still leave us feeling somewhat overwhelmed and flustered. An example is when two people decide to get married and agree on a wedding date. Sometimes the stress of organising a wedding can leave the soon-to-be-wedded couple feeling frustrated. While the change from singlehood to being married is a welcome idea, nonetheless, it does not stop them feeling anxious and inundated.

Another example is someone moving to a new home. I’ve been in that situation before. While the prospect of a new home is alluring, the reality of packing, moving, sorting and re-decorating is a stressful one.

All of the above are positive things, but how about when a couple is going through a messy divorce, when a child is not settling in properly at school, or when a loved one is battling with a terminal illness? These kinds of transitions can sometimes throw us off balance.

Just over six weeks ago, we transitioned from the year 2017 to 2018. The passage from last year to the new year may have introduced some pressure to alter your life, change certain things or imbibe new habits. These changes are not always easy and may require from us much more than we are willing to give.

As a Change Expert in my professional life, I am used to leading on transitions. In fact, I thrive on leading big changes in the workplace. At times, without meaning to be insensitive, I unsympathetically conclude that at times, employees affected by organisational changes overreact or that they perhaps need to be more welcoming of the change. The truth is, although all changes bring with them, the potential for growth and opportunities, despite this, we all respond to changes in different ways.

As you are reading this, it is possible that you are going through a period of change that is positive and refreshing. It is also possible that the changes you are experiencing may be far from positive. Regardless of which type of change you are in, I believe the following points will help in your transition journey and story in 2018 and in the years to come.

1. Change is inevitable and is part of life. It is sometimes stated that the only constant thing in life is change. Therefore expect change and face it head on

2. Life changes don’t have to leave us worse off. But they should be a catalyst for positive transformation in our lives

3. As overwhelming as it can be when we are in transition, we must remember that no condition is permanent

4. When in transit from one stage or state to another, don’t be tempted to mistaken your journey or process for your destination. The process may be rough and painful, but the outcome can be beautiful

5. When in transition, remember that others around you may be going through a change of their own. Even if they are not, realise that they are humans and as such, are subject to change also.

6. Finally, although we live in an increasingly changing landscape, remember to invite the one who never changes into your situation. While things may appear unstable in your life, remember that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” – Hebrews 13: 8, and therefore his steadfast nature will secure you firmly