I was never a fan of change or life transitions, but they happen. The first major life transition that I truly had to work through was the death of my mother in 1993. Mom was only 48 years old. During the grieving process and raising my two small children, I locked myself away in my home. There were days I felt that it was hard to get out of bed. I accomplished the minimum; feed the kids, do the laundry, wash the dishes. My mail and paperwork covered the card table in my spare bedroom then overflowed to the top of the bed. One day, my friend Katy came over and said, “Lisa let’s go get ice cream with the kids.” I replied, “Could you take my boys, so I could deal with this paperwork mess?” That was the just thing that I needed.
Life transitions are seasons and changes in our lives. Some of these changes flow smoothly while others can be filled with complications to maneuver. Major life transitions are usually met with intense feelings of either being excited or sad followed by stress or depression. Examples of life transitions: birth or death, starting or ending of a relationship, new job or loss of employment, renovation or purchasing of a home, and an illness or injury. The events can be by choice or forced upon us. Whatever way change happens, it can cause us to adjust and refocus our life at a moment’s notice. It may feel difficult to accomplish the simplest of tasks, there can also be fear of the unknown, or what the future may look like.
Change and Moving
During the season of COVID-19, I had the opportunity to walk clients through their transitions. For example, some women were forced to decide what to do with the contents of their deceased loved one’s home. This led to helping them to go through many boxes of paperwork for themselves or their loved ones. Even though the boxes may have been labeled utility bills we would find stocks, military discharge papers, birth certificates, cash, and various other important documents. Other women chose to take their parents out of living facilities and move them into their homes. A couple of women were already in the process of renovating or moving into a new home due to divorce. Even without COVID-19, the logistics of moving were overwhelming to them. I became that person to come alongside them, create a plan, and guide them through the process as their move and project coordinator.
Looking back at my mother’s death, my husband and I came to this moment; if mom hadn’t died then we wouldn’t have changed churches. We bought the house next door to our new pastors. Sadly, the oil and gas industry tanked that year, and we struggled financially with house payments. With a change of jobs, we moved to Houston. I hated Houston for many years because I missed my friends and surroundings in New Orleans. Not appreciating it at the time, Houston provided the opportunity for me to start a business and be surrounded by like-minded women. It was also in Houston that my sons would find their wives, occupations, and I would finally process my past and minister to others. It felt hard, but I knew “that all things work together for good” Romans 8:28 KJV.
Seasons in Life
The important thing to know and embrace is that you are not alone and life is going to be filled with different seasons. Some life transitions you will enjoy and relax and others seasons may be filled with bumps and challenges. Don’t give up. Give yourself space to feel the process, find a trusted friend to talk to, allow people to help you, or bring you a meal. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the negative, journal everything positive in your life, write down all that concerns you, and create a list of things you need to accomplish. Finally, treat change as a new opportunity to reset and refresh. If you need an ear to talk to, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s chat by phone or Zoom.
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Lisa Giesler, Professional Organizer, Life Transitions, Author