My twin daughters are high school juniors. Our family of four is dancing — or should I say spinning — to the tune of change these days. Not that change is new to us.
These girls have been changing our lives since before they took their first breath and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The day I had my first ultrasound the doctor pointed to the screen and said, “Here’s one head and . . . there’s the second. Congratulations! You’re having twins!”
Neal jumped up. He couldn’t contain his excitement. He was over the moon. If he had any cigars on him, he would have passed them around.
I remember getting dressed and excusing myself for a few minutes. I walked into the bathroom – the only place where I could be alone. I stood there for a few minutes, trying to comprehend what had just happened.
I kept breathing, trying to untangle the web of emotions I was flooded with. I was feeling ecstatic, terrified, and everything in between. There was this huge neon sign flashing in my head: Warning! Unknown territory ahead!
At this point, you’d be right to ask, “Well, what did you expect? You were pregnant, right?”
I know but, you see, I was thinking in terms of ONE child. I thought I could handle one, but twins?? A whole new ball game. I was a corporate executive working an average of 50-60 hours a week. I had worked hard to get where I was and I liked it.
We had no family living near us. We had been married for twelve years and our relationship was strong. We were now given the chance to really see what we were made of. Fasten your seat belts!
Do you remember the last time change brought you to a standstill?
I’m talking CHANGE as in life happens, good or bad, wanted or unwanted, planned or unplanned. Change comes, broadsides us out of the blue, and before we even realize what happened, we’re airborne.
We tend to forget that we are creatures of habit and routine. The slightest change can throw us off. Watch what happens when you rearrange the furniture, your favorite product is reformulated, or how the people around you respond to last-minute plan changes.
When we find ourselves in the midst of change, it’s natural to feel out of balance and vulnerable. How can we take care of ourselves while adjusting to a whole new situation?
After having been through many major life changes, I can tell you that a good first step is to allow yourself to feel the way you feel. Doubting or discounting how you feel, is not productive. You need time to make sense of this change and instead of giving in to unrealistic expectations, try being gentle and kind with yourself.
Instead of looking in the mirror and shaking your head in disbelief, remember that this is just an adjustment period. Everything will fall into place. Time is your friend and you can practice being patient with yourself.
Surround yourself with people who can be there without judging or pressuring you to move at a faster pace than you can handle right now.
If you need to be alone, make time to be alone. Create space to read a book, listen to your favorite music, meditate, journal, and spend time in nature.
Eventually, you will begin to gain clarity but until this happens, it’s important to make friends with what is.
Most importantly . . .
Be very wary of the voice of dissent in your head. You know what I’m talking about. That little voice with a big punch that whispers to you every time you try to do something differently or take a risk.
”What do you mean you want to do such and such? Are you kidding me? That’s not for you! Give it up!”
You don’t have to believe everything this voice tells you. It usually comes from a place of fear anyway.
Answer back. “I know you’re trying to protect me but you’re not helping. You’re holding me back and I need to do this. I can take care of myself.”
Don’t engage in a lengthy conversation. The voice of dissent is stubborn and needy. Don’t feed it. Let it be and move on.
What is your relationships with change? How have you handled big changes in the past?