Managing Life Transitions
(Hint: I spent 90 minutes the other day consulting with a Medicare specialist and thought my head was going to explode with all the options. It was not the first time I’d heard them, either!)
Throughout my organizing career I have helped clients manage life transitions such as:
- Combining households or welcoming a new baby
- Repurposing “empty nest” rooms
- Moving house (packing, unpacking, staging for sale)
- Dealing with a departed loved one’s belongings
- Setting up an office, or a schedule, to accommodate a career change
- Downsizing now so loved ones don’t have to do it (as much) for you later
And, during that time, I’ve experienced some life transitions of my own:
- Being laid off (not retired with benefits) from one career and starting my own business
- Moving from one state to another
- Experiencing the deaths of friends, family, and beloved pets
- “Losing” those who simply moved away or left whatever group we were in together
- Transitioning in and out of volunteer jobs
- Phasing out hands-on organizing in favor of genealogy research and writing
- Working fewer hours by necessity, but also by design
What is retirement, anyway?
I’ve described myself as being semi-retired for years. And I’m still semi-retired now, only more so. What — and when — is retirement these days, anyway? Is it when you have “enough money”? When you are “old enough”? When you are too tired or sick to work anymore?
I don’t think retirement looks these days the way it used to for most people. Those who are self-employed have probably already integrated their working and home lives to a large extent. And those employed by others were forced to do the same over the past couple of pandemic years. (Many of them discovered they prefer working from home!)
Sometimes retirement is a life transition so gradual that no one else but you notices it’s happening. Once an organizer, always an organizer, I think. I have met few “retired” organizers who wouldn’t still help someone out under the right circumstances.
Meanwhile, May is a transition month, from spring to summer.
(Did you know? Despite what the scientists say about the solstice, summer really starts on June 4th. Why? Because when I was a girl, school would always let out for summer vacation on, or very near, my birthday. Which, despite my general satisfaction with school, suited me just fine.)
And, really, isn’t each new day an opportunity for transition? A chance to start a new habit or stop an old one? Another opportunity to step outside one’s comfort zone and learn something new?
Today I’m feeling old and tired — temporarily, though, I hope and assume. I’m also feeling a bit sorry for myself, since I elected not to attend the in-person NAPO conference this year, which I have enjoyed so much in the past. Running constantly in the background are a number of friends and family who are experiencing painful situations in their lives that are hard to know about, and sympathize with, without absorbing some of their pain, frustration, and worry. (Not to mention ongoing national, and worldwide strife.)
So, in the spirit of living by design, and not by default, I Googled up some quotes about life transitions, aging, and retirement to cheer myself up.
Maybe they will help you as well?
Quotes about life transitions
Popular version: “Note to Self: You are not too old, and it’s not too late.”
Full quote: “You are not too old, and it is not too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret.” — Rainer Maria Rilke
“Transitions are almost always signs of growth, but they can bring feelings of loss.
To get somewhere new, we may have to leave somewhere else behind.”
— Fred Rogers
“Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she began to fly.”
— A modern twist on an old proverb
“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”
― Fred Rogers (yes, again)
“My Mission: I’ll stop stressing about the future. Instead, I’ll take that wasted energy and put it into enjoying the present — each day — just a little bit more.”
Here’s an all-time, all-purpose favorite:
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
— Wayne Dyer
When one door closes…
I was looking for a quote about the metaphorical hallway that connects the metaphorical door that closes and window of opportunity that opens.
And I found this: The Hallway by Rev. Ellen Debenport. It’s an easily-digestible blog post, but if you like it you’ll be interested to know she wrote a whole book about it!
Always believe in yourself
Finally, I think it’s time for me — and you? — to re-read this blog post I wrote a while back: Always believe in yourself.
Did any of these quotes resonate with you?
How do YOU manage life transitions?
Please share with us in the comments below!
Copyright 2022 by Hazel Thornton, Organized for Life and Beyond
Author of What’s a Photo Without the Story? How to Create Your Family Legacy
Please contact me for reprint permission. (Direct links to this page are welcome!)