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Transition Discomfort

Updated: Oct 5, 2018

I am not retired, but I quit my long term career and have entered my 3rd act. Life is happening, at an embarrassingly (according to me) slow pace.

The late author and transition expert, William Bridges says; "endings are ordeals, and sometimes they challenge so basically our sense of who we are that we believe they will be the end of us."

Endings are where transition begins. Bridges calls the transitions steps The Dis's. In my case, I haven't fully disengaged, dismantled, dis-identified, disenchanted, and disoriented from my previous life. I choose to quit my job and start a new business; disengagement was both immediate and effortless. Slowly I've dis-identified from being a publisher. I've dismantled a few work practices that are no longer needed, like getting up and checking emails before I brush my teeth.

I am in this in-between endings and beginnings. When I feel anxious or absorbed in circular self-talk, I cook, read, walk and do mat Pilates. I am spending a lot of time with myself in the neutral zone of transition.

The importance the neutral zone is not to be overlooked. According to Bridges; "You should not feel defensive about this apparently unproductive time-out during your transition points, for the neutral zone is meant to be a moratorium from the conventional activity of your everyday existence. The activities of your ordinary life keep you "you" by presenting you with a set of signals that are difficult to respond to in any but the old way. Only in the apparently aimless activity of your time alone can you do the important inner business of self-transformation".

Fortunately, I've lived long enough and been through enough transitions to know I'll be okay. In the meantime I'll keep reminding myself it is okay to go slow, not be on a deadline, or have all the answers.


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