Falling into Change, Together: transitions can be a challenge
Falling into Change, Together: transitions can be a challenge
As we transition into this next season and as the kiddos go back to school, I don’t know about you, but I am feeling the crunch and the added need to be on top of schedules and planning. This is a time where we can revel in our organizational skills or get lost in the shuffle. Think, bonfires, after school activities, cozy sweaters, holiday planning, pumpkins, and spicy drinks. What about that warm-fuzzy feeling of holding your loved one’s hand as you peruse the winding paths of the pumpkin patch. As we bring back the structure of the school year and the changing of the leaves, we might be feeling that overwhelm of how are we going to get everything done and get the kiddo(s) to bed on time? What if I want a little more flexibility to my evenings but my partner wants a little more structure? What if I need to be able to unwind but I’m worried about quality together time? Time, time…. who’s got the time….?
Whew….if reading that didn’t just stress you out, kudos my friend.
Honestly, I LOVE this time of year! The time where leaves start to change, the mornings are cool, I get to unpack my flannels and I can order a pumpkin spice latte without a weird side-eye. This also brings me into a feeling of change that’s a little worrisome. Will we get everything done that we need and want to, what will the transition back into a more structured schedule look like. Can we get the kiddo(s) to bed on-time AND showered?? Still working on that one.
This is also a time where I am wanting to connect with my partner even more. To enjoy those cool evening walks, to sit by a campfire, holding hands while strolling through a corn maze. How do I make time for this and how do I ask for this time too. With so many challenges and new and more “to-do’s” being shoved in my face I feel like it gets harder and harder to ask for what I want, connection. Is it a gradual shift like the light change or is it more abrupt like the first week of school? Feeling connected to our partner plays an important role in the enjoyment of our lives and the moments that embody them.
Over the years I have worked on this, I still am 😊 but here are some of the things that help me organize, prioritize and tackle this transition-time to come out feeling on-top-of-the-world with my partner, or even just on top 😉
- Lists- making them to organize our mornings and evenings
- Phrases- what can I say that will encourage my partner to listen
- Date nights- time away, together
- Planning- preparation for the stressful moments
- Flexibility- the ability to change on a whim or get creative when the first attempt falls flat
- Love- remembering it’s there
- Coffee- to keep me going
- Reaching for them- for support, recognition, and love
- Cozy moments- that refill my cup
- Evaluating values- to stay on track with life goals
So, when you are feeling a little on the anxious side think of ways you can prioritize and organize your time and invite your partner into the mix. Making these lists or discussing these topics together will help get you both on the same page. Then when that stressful moment shows up, with a knowing glance the two of you can be flexible together. Then you can focus on getting the family or your relationship where you want it to be and celebrate with a warm coffee or a cozy night in front of the fire.
With change and transition comes opportunity. Opportunity for growth, to do things differently, to say goodbye to old patterns, try new ones or to shake things up a bit. Although transition can be somewhat overwhelming or even scary, stepping into it with the mindset that “I am taking control over what I want my life to look like” feels truly empowering. This could look like a different morning routine; scheduled date nights with my partner or out with friends; specific plans with the kiddos to build those fun fall memories; or relaxing on the porch with that cool breeze.
It makes sense that things feel daunting around this time of change and transition. And that’s because we are actually made to resist change. Our mind and body yearn for balance and stability. As we say goodbye to the longer days and moments of light this mourning is similar to that of a loss. Our body is then searching for a new equilibrium within the cooler days of fall (if we ever get them) and our own familiar experiences from years past. It helps to draw on past experiences or the familiarity of this yearly change when those feelings of uncertainly sneak into our subconscious. By understanding what emotions might also be present at this time (fear, shame, sadness) we can welcome the transition and embrace all it has in store for us. And as we share these more vulnerable feelings with our partner, we also invite closeness, understanding and connection. We can use this time of change as opportunity and this idea of uncertainty as a moment to spread our wings and reset our mind and connect with those closest to us.
Being intentional with our time and what is important to us and truly making those things a priority will help you feel accomplished and in control.
Finding the time to do that is a different story that’s why making the time to do it is essential. Add it to your to-do list or write it on your calendar. Make it official that we will plan out our days and our nights (even without Charles’ help) we can take charge of our time, our lives and even our relationships. We can make them what we want them to be in order to feel fulfilled.
So, this I challenge you, pick up that calendar and that pen and put a family meeting date on it. Then force everyone to show up 😊 and make some intentional plans. Take that time to also discuss values and priorities for making joy a large part of our lives. Plan out morning and evening routines. Talk about what pumpkin patches you want to visit this year and where you want to go apple picking. Make it intentional and watch how some of the anxieties will calm down. You can also watch how the good times start piling up, just like those leaves as they fall off the trees.
Taking this proactive approach allows us space to have healthy expectations and then the ability to be flexible when we need to and the space to plan for alternatives if necessary. When taking control over the day-to-day minutia that bogs us down, we put in place a plan to make our lives more manageable and enjoyable. We allow ourselves that time to make decisions before it feels like its crunch-time, and we make the hurried decision. The feeling of having a guide or a list or even a prior conversation around a sticky topic offers that piece of mind that we got this and even if we don’t, we can change directions and get it another way.
Remember, these are great ways to connect with your partner and re-evaluate goals and priorities for the season and the busier schedules. Approach these conversations with respect and interest as you both share your perspectives and wants this season.
If you want assistance with these types of conversations or are wanting to make this an intentional part of your relationship, I can help. Let’s work together to take control of this busy time or year. Call or email me to set up our first appointment.