Welcome back, my friends! I’ve been off for about six weeks and you got mini episodes while I was gone. Sort of like the appetizers you put out at a party to keep people around until you get to the main course.
Well, we’re back to the main course again and what I thought would happen over the last six weeks is not AT ALL what happened. Some people plan years in advance and then things go off without a hitch. I apparently can’t even plan six weeks of my life without it becoming a complete train wreck.
My son went into middle school this year and while I knew the transition would be tough for him, the first week was a nightmare. A few days of tears on the way home, “Mom, can you homeschool me?” Well, yes, I’d love too, but not because you don’t want to deal with a new experience. His issues aren’t with other kids. They’re organizational and apparently the newness of the whole experience was completely overwhelming. Having lockers, changing classes, dressing out for gym, getting what you need where you need it and when has been really hard for him. He’s got more organizational issues than the average 6th grade boy (is that possible?) and I made an extra trip into town every day for the first week and and a half taking forgotten stuff back and forth. But apparently, the eclipse straightened him out, because he hasn’t forgotten anything critical since then.
Another thing that happened in the last six weeks was that I faced some unexpected decisions about work. A combination of circumstances and financial issues combined in a way that I found myself seriously considering looking for a new job. I’ve worked for myself for 20 years. That idea is a huge shift for me. I realized entrepreneurship is a part of how I define myself. And interviewing. I haven’t thought about interviewing in several decades!
A new publishing project came up as well, that turned from a small 30 minute weekly commitment to a daily article on a new website. So, I decided to put off any job decisions until the new project is either under control or finished.
In the last five weeks I’ve started my son in a new school, interviewed for a job for the first time in 20 years, built a new website, started writing for it every day, and completed a few art pieces for that project. I took on two new roles at church and expanded the reach of the one that I was already doing. I’ve dealt emotionally with my son miraculously having turned from a child to a pre-teen. I’m not sure exactly when that happened, but I’m apparently the mother of a middle schooler. I’ve dealt with the idea of no longer being an entrepreneur–when I’ve seen myself that way for most of my life. I’ve prepped for a job interview, done the interview and then dealt with the disappointment of not being chosen for the work, after deciding I really did want it. I’ve dug into some emotional issues of gender and race.
It has been a draining six weeks. A lot has happened. So much emotional change. I tell you this to catch you up. But, also to talk about change. This has been a crazy transitional 6 weeks. Here are a few lessons I’ve thought about as I’ve gone through it.
First, we don’t always know where things are going to lead, but not knowing doesn’t mean they won’t be valuable experiences. I wasn’t looking for a new job. But a few options came across my path. One of them I really didn’t think I was supposed to get…but I thought I was supposed to apply for it anyway. I’m still not sure what that was about and I may never know. But, I do know it already led to someone recommending me for a different position.
Even if I continue to work for myself for the next 20 years, I learned an awful lot about myself going through the interview process. I’m not suggesting you go randomly interview for jobs you have no intention of taking, but I am saying that you should be aware of opportunities around you in all areas of life, even if you don’t understand why or where they’ll lead.
Second, when everything’s new and confusing, like my son’s experiences at his new school, remember that “new” is a short term problem. I kept telling him that in a few weeks, all the things that seemed so strange and new would turn into the norm. He’d get it figured out and then we’d just be dealing with the stuff that’s truly hard for him. And that’s what’s happened. He now knows what to expect. He knows how to navigate the class changes and the lockers. It’s still not second nature, but it’s not overwhelming. When you’re in a new situation, remember that “new” turns into “old hat” very quickly. Just hang on, it will get easier every day.
And lastly, if things really do change, be willing to adjust for new opportunities. Which brings me to where the podcast is headed. My new project will run through the holidays and it’s going to require a good chunk of time. It came up in the last two weeks and became something much larger than I originally intended. If you’re a Christian woman interested in a daily article digging into what scripture says about what it is to be a woman, I’d love for you to check it out.
Even before that came up, I was looking at making some changes to the podcast. Because of the new project, I was really thinking I was going to have to put the podcast on pause until the new year…until an angel friend of mine offered to do some of the production work for me. I’m eliminating the artwork, the coffee talk emails and the worksheets. I’ll do the episode, continue to publish on Sundays and send out a Monday email with the audio link and a few application questions to consider. So, “What if’s” will continue to come your way, with those adjustments.
Things have changed for me in the last six weeks. Things will continue to change. Things will change for you as well. Things always change. Even when you aren’t sure where they’re going, be open to new opportunities. Trust that process is as important as the end goal. Walk in confidence, trust in process. It’s important know that “new” doesn’t last very long, things will normalize quickly. Be willing to adjust for changes if it means a good opportunity.
So, the answer to, “What if things change?” is that you’ll be fine. If things change, you’ll be fine. You might be afraid. We’re all afraid. I had more fear in the midst of these changes than I expected to have, more than I’ve had in a long time. Fear is normal. Just don’t let it determine your course.
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