Thursday, September 8, 2011

Riding the Waves of Change

I couldn't sleep. 3 o'clock in the morning and my mind was churning around a multitude of thoughts varying from the ever present To Do List, my health, my kids… I know life is constantly in transition, but sometimes its evidence is overwhelming. Having just turned 50, I feel like my life has crested into a beautiful wave upon which I can ride out in splendid style or crash spectacularly with salt up my nose and sand in my pants. I’ve had 50 years to learn a multitude of lessons and now more than ever, I need to put them into practice so I can ride my wave. Right now my wave consists of helping my son transition to a new school.

Lesson 1: Accept Change. Change happens with or without us buying into its reality. Life keeps changing and how successful we are at life depends on our being able to recognize the constant need to let go and readjust to the new challenges being presented. This year my son, Alex, will start 4th grade at a brand new school. He’ll be meeting a whole new group of classmates, learn the lay of the land of the new campus and will be immersed in a completely different curriculum philosophy. And you know what? He’s going to do great because he’s accepted and embraced this change.

We’ve been talking about his upcoming new school experience for months now. We’ve discussed meeting new friends, the new campus, the classrooms, the social circles. We’ve walked the campus, found his classroom, library and checked out the playground. Alex even spent a couple of days at the school summer day camp program so he could meet new friends before the first day of school He also picked out his favorite backpack months in advance, which is now being filled with back to school supplies and binders. All very important stuff.
Lesson 2: Surround yourself supportive people. Alex will be meeting lots of new people in the next few weeks. I’ve shared stories from my childhood about making friends and he’ll be on the lookout for kids of quality. You know, the ones who are genuinely kind, don’t gossip and won’t betray a friendship. They won’t stand out in a crowd like the “popular kids”, so some searching will have to take place to find those best buddies. Good friends are a treasure worth searching for. I’ll be there for him, too. Not a helicopter mom hovering over him, but the kind of mom who’s available to talk about whatever’s on his mind, and who can sense when the silence might need to be nudged into a heart to heart conversation about the daily struggles of elementary school life.

Lesson 3: Then there’s that element of control. During a change, welcomed or not, we tend to focus on how we can control the situation. However, often times, the only thing we really control is what we’re thinking about the change. The person who has developed a flexible attitude about change seems to get through life a little easier.

So, we’re going to ride the wave of change and enjoy the thrill. It may be a bit hairy while the ride’s going full speed, but we’ll be able to look back on this new phase of life and say, “Whoa! That was so cool!”

No comments:

Post a Comment