I’m getting ready to move soon. I’ve been thinking about relocating for a year now, so my growing sense of impending loss is surprising. Excited about what’s ahead, but getting anxious about what I have to leave. Change always involves some sort of loss, and even though 12 years in one place isn’t a long time, relationships do develop. I will so miss my dance friends, my neighbors, and the unique bocce-ball-playing neighborhood I stumbled into. Most of all, I’ll miss those who laughed, listened, and shared with me. (I will not miss the cold cold water in Washington State! I love to swim.) The good news is that I’m not really worried about meeting new people since I talk to strangers at the drop of a hat.
A new book is in the works around here, which is about change, so this business of smooth transitions has been on my mind lately. This is for sure: The only way to protect ourselves against that empty feeling of loss is to remember that nothing is permanent. You can’t be alive without encountering change because lives are in flux and require us to flex in big and little ways everyday. The smaller ones just slide by without much notice — maybe a tweak or two to adjust —but we resist the big ones that disrupt comfortable routines. The sooner we can see change as opportunity instead of a disruption, the smoother life becomes. Learning to “go with the flow” keeps stress from ruling our lives. As always, though, giving advice is so much easier than taking it, even if it’s my own.
I hope to stay connected to friends here, but I’ve moved enough times to know that doesn’t always work. The trick to coping with this growing sense of loss is to keep my eye on the ball. Staying focused on the end — the perks of my new town in Oregon and the new opportunities ahead — keeps that feeling from taking hold, making sure this new chapter of life begins with gusto. When that feeling does start to build, I sit down and leaf through the pages of my current work on change, and my book, Emerging from the Heartache of Loss. It helps.