Managing Transitions

Managing Transitions

  • Jodie Leister LPCC-S; CEAP, Ohio State Employee Assistance Program
  • August, 2019
  • Emotional Well-Being

Do you ever feel like it is impossible to just find a piece of normalcy in your life and that like everything is always shifting?  Most of us crave some level of consistency in our lives but we also make choices that constantly throw us off the path.  I am one of those people who seems to be a glutton for punishment in the change department: constantly throwing my life into disarray, craving newness and transformation.  I typically try to rationalize through it because it is, after all, self-imposed, and I should be able to prepare and adjust.  Should is the operative word here though, and even with the best of intentions and the best laid plans, life has other things in mind for me. 

Case in point for me is the pending birth of my third baby boy.  We planned this baby and for all intents and purposes were/are prepared for him.  I was able to plan for the transition of my beloved co-worker into retirement and the work transition of welcoming a wonderful new staff member into the OSU EAP.  I have been preparing for my oldest to start Kindergarten like the big boy he is in August and my middle guy to start pre-school.  What we were not prepared for was the move to a new home the month before conceiving, the flood in our new house that happened the end of June, and the long process of renovations that have to be done to repair our new home and the loss of loved ones too soon.

What I have noticed though is that for all of the transitions, planned and unplanned, the one thing that resounds is my need for self compassion and honesty, with myself and others.  Change is hard.  It is uncomfortable whether it is self-imposed or not, but it is a necessary process for us to grow.  Through all of these experiences, the one phrase I ask myself over and over again consistently is “what am I supposed to learn from this?”  Undoubtedly the answer to that question is a momentary—or prolonged—sense of frustration and results in anger expressed by the phrase “the world is out to get me!”  I embrace that frustration and remain powerless for a temporary moment, and then I redirect myself as much as possible to the truth.  In the above examples, my truths are simple. I am as prepared as I will ever be for a new baby. I got to celebrate the career and life of someone I admire and grow with a new team member.  My boys are becoming great little humans who keep things exciting in my life.  I found my forever home where I will get to make memories of a lifetime.  I have amazing new neighbors who, although they barely know us, are willing to help in times of crisis.  Finally, relationships are meant to be celebrated and shared for the time we have them and honored in the times we don’t.  Turns out, I’m pretty happy with all of that. 

As you make transitions in your life this month or in the months to come, I challenge you to show yourself a little more compassion and honesty.  Ask yourself “what am I supposed to learn from this?” and be open to what experiences can bring you.  Hopefully you will learn you are stronger than you think. 

If you need help with this or anything else, know that EAP is here for you as well.  Reach out to us via email at or by phone at 800-678-6265. 

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