Transitions & Bad Memories of 7th Grade

By Kathy Dunnehoff
first days of schoolIt’s fall. Back to school for my daughters. Back to teaching a class for me. Back to a novel revision that languished during the gorgeous summer.

I’d like to say I do well with transitions. But I don’t.

I don’t even do well with daily transitions. Starting writing is a challenge, because it’s hard to pull myself away from my cozy bed. But once I start writing, guess what? Yep, it’s hard to stop.

I try to remind myself that bumpy transitions are just my way. I get through them and then find my flow again when I get to the next thing. But for months now, I’ve been in the kind of in-between stage that reminds me of 7th grade. (Okay, it’s not that bad. Is anything that bad?!)

I’m an indie author, but I want to bring out a title with a traditional publisher. Sounds reasonable to me, and yet I find myself wondering, questioning, doubting, and generally feeling all elbows and awkward.

I find myself, at this moment in my career, in transition. I’d like to say I do well with that.

But I don’t.

What’s your best advice for weathering the “in-between” moments in life?

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5 thoughts on “Transitions & Bad Memories of 7th Grade

  1. I don’t recommend holding your breath. Transitions in life have been walloping me in the head this last year, so I’m somewhat of an expert on hypoxia.

    instead, let unsettling change unfold as forced reflection and redirection. It’s a brief respite to quit racing through the world and focus inward on your soul.

    I’ve come up with my battle-tested list for survival:
    * Courage facing the unknown requires breathing. So take a gulp. When you realize you’re holding your breath, force yourself to expel fear by exhaling and jumping forward. This takes faith and belief in yourself. It’s being willing to throw out what isn’t working and picking up something new. Your gut is your guide.
    * meditate or pray every morning, asking for guidance. Submit to letting the day unfold without angst by being confident in a greater power regardless of the absence of burning bushes or loud voices in your head– which played well in the dark ages, but today buys a one-way ticket to an institution.
    * Count your blessings all day long. Be aware and thankful, even for that second cup of coffee with the special flavored creamer. By focusing on gifts in your life, the next project will emerge clearly if you have–
    * Patience. This kicks me in the backside. I fail miserably, but continue to give myself a pat on the back for recognizing that humpty-bumpty and I have a lot in common.
    * Still the manic chatter in your head and LISTEN. Direction comes clearly from friends and family. Listening brings peace.
    * Act like a bull-dog in your quest. Nose to the ground. Seeking. Watch the signs as they emerge, because you’re learning as you move forward. Be willing to redirect and change.

    The list above came at a price and is still evolving. Maybe some of the other readers are learning more?

  2. I could really relate to this post. When I have to start something I don’t feel like doing, I try to imagine as clearly as I can how I will feel once I’m done. This also helps me not to do things that won’t feel good later, like having just one more glass of wine. I never woke up in the morning and wish I’d had one more drink, or one more slice of pie. And I always, always feel better after I’ve written.

  3. My mother’s sage advice was, “Just walk through it.” She used that saying when we five kids were facing a dilemma in junior high or high school. Like, do I take band or do I try out for chorus. How the heck does a person walk through that? She left us alone in our choices and we did walk through one thing to the next. She also said that to me as we left the funeral home after viewing my father in his coffin. She looked at me and said, I will just walk through this. So many times I have followed that advice. Kathy, I expect to see you walking.

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