ON TRANSITIONS

My oldest is graduating from preschool in two weeks and will soon be off to kindergarten. Like, really soon because we seem to have the longest preschool year ever and kindergarten starts considerably early due to our being in a year round school district. Soon after she starts kindergarten, my second girly starts preschool.

I imagined a summer of swimming and learning to ride bikes. I thought we'd sit on our sidewalk chalk covered driveway, eating popsicles and soaking up the fact that we don't have anywhere to be. Which, okay, is most days already, but this is our first summer since having anyone in school and I intend to live it up like the break it will soon become.

At some point in this summer that I've envisioned, our lazy days will wind down. We'll go school shopping, making sure everyone's sneakers fit because dammit if they don't go through a new pair every few months. I'm kind of a sucker for backpacks and bento boxes, and heaven help me when school supplies go on sale. Then, and only then, when we're completely ready and have rehearsed schedules and scenarios and all the what-ifs, we will take pictures and wave at the bus. (And probably follow it. I'm kidding no one.)

The reality is, these things can still happen. We will still swim and ride bikes and make chalk art masterpieces as sticky, melting popsicles get everywhere. I will still buy enough notebooks to last us through the year with a few personalized pencils thrown in for good measure.

It's just that it will be a little rushed. A lot, rushed actually. The leisurely stretch of time I thought I'd neatly fit unwinding and relaxing and preparation, spaced evenly so they don't overlap, is really little more than a month. One month- okay maybe closer to two- to cram everything in and try to seamlessly transition to the next big phases in life.

I do think I'm overreacting a little, for what it's worth. I know that we could have all the time I want to prepare, and I'm certainly it wouldn't go completely as planned. Hello, we don't always make it through breakfast as planned. We will manage just fine, and where we don't transition smoothly, we'll adjust.

While I might have blown it slightly out of proportion, and am worrying over things I can't control, it has gotten me thinking about how I handle other transitions in my life. Not the obvious, large-scale changes, but the ones that are smaller, almost unnoticeable, but certainly have an impact.

How am I transitioning into a better person- more mindful and understanding? How am I preparing and striving to be better long term? How am I reacting short-term when something happens that tries my patience and calls for me to be the person I want to become, rather than just the person I am now? Am I keeping my end goal in sight, or do I only see it as that- an end goal; something to ultimately work toward, but forget in the day to day.

How am I transitioning in my faith? Do I know where I'm going with it in the long run? Am I okay with not knowing?

How am I transitioning in relationships? Am I building new ones and letting go of ones that aren't healthy?

How do I adjust when things don't go as planned? Am I employing as much grace when change is sudden as I would when it's gradual and prepared for?

And, do I have enough notebooks?

These are the important questions I ask myself. For real.

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