5 Tips for Transitions

People keep telling me to "give myself grace" when it comes to accepting this new life that is mine. I always nod and agree with them...but actually putting those words into action is iffy for me. Because every time I feel like I allow myself grace, it looks like laziness and eating junk food and wasting my time with Netflix.

But I'm torn. Because the baby will be here in a few months (yikes!) and then sleeping in, reading to my heart's content, binge-watching TV shows, spending money on sweets, hanging out in a coffee shop for a few hours...those things aren't really going to happen anymore. So shouldn't I enjoy them while I still can?

Figuring out how to balance being responsible with enjoying myself is tricky, and tends to result in freaking myself out for no reason.

So here are my tips on transitions (you know, the ones I'm still trying to follow myself):

  1. Create habits. As much as I hate feeling "forced" to do things, making a schedule or having a few things that I do every day, makes me feel like I'm not a complete failure. No matter how I end up filling the hours at home in the apartment, I have my daily devotions and workout in the mornings, and I make dinner for the hubby at night. Maybe I don't get the bathroom cleaned or squeeze in a walk outdoors, but at least I've got those few things to count on. 
  2. Don't get rid of everything all at once. Josh and I got married, I moved into the apartment, and I quit my job all in the span of one week. Then I stared around the teeny apartment in shell-shock, wondering where my life had gone. I made the mistake of shoving everything new down my own throat and thinking that I couldn't keep any of my old routines. Wrong. This just left me feeling bereft and confused. Add the new things in slowly, and take time to learn what's new before jumping in and hoping you'll ace it. 
  3. Remember that it's okay to screw up. When you're transitioning into something new - whether that be a job, a marriage, a move to a new place, or even small transitions such as diet change, workout plans, or a new pet - there's a lot to focus on. And usually you still have the distractions of everything that's still going on from the "old" stuff in your life. So don't be afraid to make mistakes or forget about stuff (for all you fellow pregnant women, yeah, that forgetfulness just gets worse). You can't learn without failing a few times and picking yourself back up again. 
  4. Ask for help. There is nothing new under the sun. Which means that you're not the only one who's gone through this. Don't be afraid to ask others how they handled situations or what made the tough parts more fun. And there are going to be days when you want to ditch all of this unfamiliar crap and runaway to something you can feel capable of handling. That's when you need someone there that's going to tell you to stick it out. 
  5. There's no real beginning and no end. One morning, you'll wake up and realize that the parts that scared you the most don't faze you enough to even raise your eyebrows. But there'll be something new to be afraid of, don't worry. Just as you're feeling secure in this transition, a new one will already be happening to you. Don't wait until the "end" to feel good about what's going on. 

We're all in transition. 

I remember reading that on someone's instagram post, and it stuck to me like a tenacious gecko lizard. When I was younger, I always looked around me at the "adults" and I saw them as having a clear purpose, a profound stability, and a grasp of what life was all about. Now I'm supposedly an adult, and I haven't a clue what's going on, or even how I slipped out of being an irresponsible teenager. And no one around seems to have it all together either. 

So it's a comfort to know that no matter your stage in life, you're in transition - always. Anything can be life-altering if you let it. No one has "arrived" at that extremely desirable plateau where no more climbing is necessary. The terrain of our lives is never quite that simple. 

What tips of your own have helped you through the transitions of life? 

Tiny New Life

My husband Josh and I have officially been married for one month! Definitely not what I foresaw in my future about eight months ago...

I'm honestly so grateful for our teeny little apartment with the dishwasher that doesn't like to close or open very well, our $20 futon that we bought from a college student, our kitchen that's really just half of a hallway, and the food budget that keeps me impossibly in check. The fact that we're dealing with things right now - together - that are less than satisfactory is probably an incredible blessing for our new marriage. Because you know already that life is going to throw stuff at you that's far from desirable.

And we get to start out with things that are a bit tricky.
When I was a kid I was annoyed that we never bought anything brand-name. Shopping was about finding the cheapest deals - especially when it came to food. I was embarrassed that my mom would add water or powdered milk to the milk gallon to make it stretch. I hated eating the heels of a loaf of bread.

But it has given me so much experience to save money for me and my husband now, in our new marriage. And you know what? I choose any off-brand I can get at the grocery store. I add a little water to the milk to make it last, I freeze vegetables, I don't buy the silly junk food I'm craving. And I don't even mind eating bread heels anymore.

There are many moments in my life where I spent my thoughts on wishing to be ahead: older, wiser, in a different place, obviously with a better life purpose. But I can't do that anymore. First off, I know that these moments with Josh are going to fly by and suddenly there's going to be a tiny person seeking both our attention all of the time (I'm twenty-three weeks pregnant as we speak).

As it is, I've got time for me every day. And I've got time with him.

Maybe that's enough.

I want more, don't get me wrong. I feel lazy for not working. I hate that dishes and cooking and tidying the apartment are constants in my life. I can't seem to get anything done that seems "important." I get so proud of myself for working out in the morning, but then I'm exhausted the rest of the day.

What's something you wished away that now you would gladly take back? What do you do to make each moment one not of regret but of satisfaction?

"You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days 
Hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this..."
~Randy Travis