Updated: May 20, 2022
Continued from 10 Things That Mentally Strong People Don't Do.
I feel like my life is nothing but change right now. My daughter just graduated high school and is headed off to college in the fall. We are in the middle of selling our family home. My husband and I are selling off all our possessions, yes all of them. Everything from his cherished electric lawnmower to my gently used red stilettos, and the unused Instapot have been swapped for cash. We sold both our vehicles and now share a diesel munching monster truck that will pull our new home on wheels across the country. Yes, we are transitioning to full time RV living. I am returning to my trailer roots and along with my husband and 200 pounds of canine mischief makers.
I wanted to curl up into ball and legitimately lose my shit.
At first the thought of romping across the country with my hubby sounded edgy and exciting. We would be the modern day nomads, always up for a new adventure. Not to mention the money we could save! I couldn't wait to accelerate our plan for retirement. Then reality hit me. This is not retirement. I am a female business owner in the thick of building my clientbase. My husband holds is in high demand as a senior engineer for Google. Not only the logistics of selling, scaling down and living minimal , but the lifestyle change that full time RVing requires became an extremely overwhelming process, the more I thought about it. We knew it was what God wanted us to do. We prayed about it and could feel the gut instinct that he often send us both when we are making the right decision. So now what?
"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced." - Soren Kierkegaard
After spending a few days driving myself and my husband nuts with all reasons why the puzzle pieces of our life do not fit into this wacky moving puzzle, I realized the choices I had in front of me. I could either embrace, enjoy and move with the changes or I could continue to fight it and making all of us miserable. I allowed the fear of the unknown to distract me and keep me from recognizing the opportunity. During my morning alone time, I asked God to help. Help me see the beauty in this change. Help me remember how all the times you've been there for me during life changes. Here are just a few of the strategies I've discovered that help me deal with change.
Quick tips for dealing with change.
Embrace the change because its inevitable. Without change in our lives we will eventually become stuck and stagnant. So why not embrace it. Without the experience and resilience that comes from change, you will eventually feel like others are outgrowing you. When the change gets difficult, keep your focus and ask yourself, "What can I learn from this? How can I grow from this?"
Don't overwhelm yourself with too much change at once. Sometimes change can come at you at a dizzying pace and it's out of your control. No matter if the change is voluntary or involuntary, focus on what you can control. You are in control of how you process it and how you respond to it. Take small bites and break it down. It's not so frightening when your taking small bites instead of choking on the entire pie at once!
Create a concrete action plan. When my husband and I began to get overwhelmed with the transition to empty nesters and full time RVers, we broke it down. Throughout the tough changes in our marriage (and trust me there have been many) we pull out the dry erase board. We sit down together and create a goal list. We place them in order of importance and break them down into small tasks. After deciding which goal or change we want to work on as a team, we write all the action steps down on color coded post it notes. Then comes my favorite part; moving each step across the board from the To Do to Work In Progress and finally to the Completed category! It forces us to focus on and appreciate our progress instead of smothering in anxiety. It may sound simple, but it's been a great tool and lifesaver throughout our marriage.
Not long after taking my alone time to get myself together and think of a plan, I started to see things in a very different perspective. What was I thinking? This could be a beautiful adventure and an amazing opportunity that few get to experience in life! This has been how many of my scary changes have morphed into amazing adventures and growth opportunities. Hopefully these tips will help you to embrace the changes coming your way. Stay tuned for number 3 in the 10 Things that Mentally Strong People Don't Do!