Sunday, August 22, 2010

Coping with ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: youngest child goes to college

Last weekend, my middle daughter graduated from college. This weekend, my youngest daughter moved to college 5 states away.

My baby.
In the final three hour leg of the multi-day driving odyssey to move her into her dorm, I groused about all the missed workouts over the past two weeks traveling back and forth from Baton Rouge to Nashville to Baton Rouge; Baton Rouge to Atlanta to Greenville (where we left youngest daughter’s car, may it rest-in-salvage-car-lot peace) to Charlotte to Atlanta to Jackson to Baton Rouge. I shared my fears that I may never find equilibrium; that, after the past two weeks of missed workouts, I was too out of shape to ever exercise again; and my go-to anxiety that I was an utter failure as a human being. I also recounted to Ace Sherpa my disappointment in not having the perspective or energy to write the “planned” blog entry this week.
Good-bye little 2000 Echo.
Hello new mountain bike!
“You are tired now. We’ve experienced some big changes, but so does everyone else,” Ace Sherpa noted. “Liz, what you’re feeling now – that’s what you need to share. Life is a series of transitions, some big and some small, but change is inevitable. Remind yourself what it’s all about.” My Ace Sherpa is such a smart man. I’d marry him, but I already did.

When in the midst of a big storm sometime all I see are the forceful winds, the commotion, chaos and confusion. When I view the same storm, say from an airplane flying about the clouds, I see it as a wonder to behold. It’s just a matter of perspective.

As I type this note, I’m in a proverbial rainstorm of a life transition. I’ve had three graduations in as many months and my youngest has left the nest. Getting through the required events and tasks required myopic focus on transition essentials which didn’t allow time for “regular” anything, including training. My emotions ran the gamut from anxious to zapped. It’s no wonder I’m a little “toasty” (not quite “burned out”). In the trenches, in the middle of the experience, my emotions are frayed and my clarity of thought lacking.

But like a storm cloud viewed from an airplane, I can give myself the gift of perspective by focusing on the bigger picture. I know that my life, all life, is full of transitions and changes. Changes sometimes interrupt normal life including regular training. Ignoring the change events won’t make them go away and could prolong the not so pleasant parts of transition. Instead, I will acknowledge and experience my changes. My goal is not today or even this week. Like any storm, this transition too will pass. I will get through.

So today, while I’m still in the midst of the change, I will give myself the time, space and the rest I need. I’ll give thanks for all my many blessings. I will look forward with hope to the next exciting chapter of my life.


  1. Liz, you will be back in the saddle (your "equilibrium" as you call it) in no time - even if that saddle is on a different horse. Your strength and perspective amazes me, and you really are an inspiration with your positivity and insight. Hopefully your horse will mosey along with us on some future workouts...I miss you!

  2. Ah Lizzard my friend. I feel your turmoil and can relate in my own way. I am in the job change tornado which has required me to step out of my comfort box and screw up my nicely organized schedule. This has done major damage to my training and my psyche. You know what gets me through? Knowing YOU and my other PEEPS will be there when I am ready to hit it hard again. All is not lost, your fitness is still there. We will just dust ourselves off and start anew. Tomorrow for the pool. See you there.

  3. These life transitions bring many opportunities for renewal. Glad to see you back in the pool. Just keep on swimming.