Our eldest started her new school year, yesterday. Another change. Only, this school year came with a myriad of realisations.
After Sarah completes this year, she will enter her first Senior year. Senior. Isn't that when the world starts to get a little more interesting? It was nine years ago, she started her first day of school. For me though, it still feels like yesterday. As if to emphasise what has already come before, my world suddenly started playing in stereo-phonics.
It began when I saw Peter drawing in the Spiderman, Colouring & Activity book, we got him for Christmas. Nothing unusual about that. Only he wasn't colouring Spiderman or attempting to get the stickers out, as he did formerly. He was attempting to draw the letters in his book, for the first time, instead.
It suddenly occurred to me, this would be the last year, Peter would be at home.
I knew it was coming, because I was planning for his first day of Prep, already. But seeing him drawing in that book, owning every new discovery, was just another realisation that change was in store, for all of us. Sarah will start her first year of Senior, next year, and Peter will start his first year of school.
Each of them are graduating to the next step, they need to take. I'm not upset or distressed by that, but it made me realise I have a difficult relationship with "change", nonetheless. Like I said, it's been hanging around, making itself known.
Click to enlarge
Indulge me a little detour into my own childhood. I drew the picture above, for my mum's new book, she self-published recently. It was about how we survived as a family, through cyclone Tracy - Australia's worst cyclone. I finished reading it, and I'm amazed how close I came to not writing this blog, or having my own children. I was only five months old, on my first Christmas Eve, and it was a day my family would literally fight for their lives. Not just during the cyclone, but afterwards.
More bizarre than reading the book however, was drawing myself as a baby in my mother's arms, during my early 40's. Or hearing from a friend who endured the cyclone with us, say I captured the day after Tracy, perfectly. Yet I was only 5 months old. Now I'm 40. Did I blink or something?
Well, that change - you see, it happened all along. To me. To my family. We just didn't get to appreciate the highlights fully, until we developed hindsight. Which takes time, for change to occur.
Preschool 1978 ~
I'm like a deer, gazing into headlights
This brings me back to my difficult relationship with change recently. In my childhood, we moved around a lot. With these new moves, always came stress and making new friends, all over again. I'm sure as a child I loved the adventure of it all, but in truth, I don't think I learned to appreciate change, in a healthy way. Somewhere inside, is a personal trigger I try and avoid. The trigger of change, where things unfold in ways you don't fully understand. So it makes you feel different ranges of terrified.
As I was coming to terms with my children evolving recently, I experienced a new range of terrified. So I contemplated it for a while, and realised their growing up, wasn't the problem. It was my relationship to change. What does it mean for me? How will I cope? Will there be more to this change I'm not expecting? All questions, I cannot answer right now. Change unfolds how it's meant to, not according to our understanding of it.
A new day dawning
So I decided it's probably time I work on my relationship to change. Give it some freedom to evolve, and stop seeing it as a reason to doubt so much. Because I only end up doubting myself, or other things. Which doesn't actually make a difference to change occurring anyway. It just makes me less able to cope with my circumstances.
So I finally picked a word to focus on, for the rest of the year. Change. What comes to pass, ever so gradually - or what we don't realise unit it arrives, all points to acceptance on a personal level, anyway.
How is change evolving in your life lately?