A Word On Transitions

Transition:  passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another; a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.

I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions lately.  The end of our Girls on the Run season brings thoughts of growing up (seemingly too soon, these days) and the changes to be navigated as children transition to the next grade, or from elementary school to middle school.

I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions lately.  My youngest is about to graduate from college.  I admire his pursuit of documenting the transition of nations rejecting the old guard to move toward self-government.

I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions lately.  I’m preparing to leave a community I’ve been in for almost 10 years.  And despite the fact that this particular transition takes me back to a community I know, I also know that community has not remained static.

About each of these transitions, one could use the adjectives scary, exciting, difficult, unpredictable, even routine.  It is challenging to plan for all the variables that might influence our ability to navigate a transition, or our ability to help someone else navigate.

I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions lately.  And what occurs to me is that we are always moving into or out of some sort of transition.  If that is my reference for the term transition, then I have decided that if I just bear in mind that it is a process, I know I will always succeed in moving through it.  Today the transition may be uncomfortable, tomorrow it may be comfortable.

Lesson 6 in the Girls on the Run curriculum introduces emotional health, and the idea that we might best label emotions comfortable and uncomfortable, rather than good or bad.  Indeed, with this in mind, we can feel free to express our emotions and respond to them accordingly.  We identify times when might have “rushed” into an emotion and acted before figuring out exactly what we were feeling.

So as you experience transitions today, or help your child or friend through their next transition, remember that we are all moving forward with the best skills we have at the time.  It’s never “good” or “bad”, just comfortable or uncomfortable.  And it will be okay.

Nancy Smith is a seven-year resident of Gainesville.  Running has been a theme throughout her life and she ran her first GOTR 5K in the late 1990s.  She is married with two grown children. Fun fact: Nancy’s favorite destination is: anywhere out of the heat!