I’ve recently returned from vacation, during which I helped a friend move into a new house and get settled.
We all go through so many transitions in our lives. Some big, some small. Some joyous, some difficult. Moving is certainly up there with some of the bigger transitions we undertake.
As boxes were unpacked, I began thinking about the fact that each time we experience a major transition, we leave something behind and it changes us.
It’s a concept that is beautifully explored in Judith Viorst’s book, Necessary Losses. In it, she discusses the idea that such losses are necessary for personal growth. For example, transition into maturity means leaving behind the protection provided by our mother. Transitions through other stages of life mean leaving behind certain definitions of who we are (or think we are), stepping into new identities that become the “new you,” and allowing new chapters of our lives to begin.
Of course, I can’t help but relate these themes back to a natural transition that most of us don’t like to face: aging. As we grow older, we can find ourselves (perhaps with a lot of resistance) “losing” our image of ourselves as young and immortal. But in truth, we can remain full of life and vitality as we age. In fact, Viorst would argue that the aging process itself offers us many opportunities for positive personal growth and change, even in the latest years of our lives. Now that’s an idea that I celebrate!
With every unpacked box and every picture hung, I thought about other transitions of life. The ending of relationships and the beginning of new ones. Job moves and career changes. The movement of a senior from isolation at home to socialization at The Ivey. And of course, the joyful births of new babies and the sad passings of loved ones.
These are all gifts from which we can learn. Unsettling as they can sometimes be, embracing lifelong learning from our gifts keeps us young and vibrant.
You know what they say: moving is never fun. But I just might disagree. In fact, I think I’ll revel in watching my friend finding his new house slowly but surely becoming his new home.
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