Notice the Transitions

Transitions are some of the most uncomfortable, unlikable and unpleasant experiences. I’ve not done well with them, and I’ve mostly not recognized them until after they were over. I usually don’t begin to value them until much later. But I value them now.

I’ve been in transition for five months, working through acclimation to my new job. It’s been a difficult one. Maybe more so because I haven’t treated it as a transition, I just blew in the door and expected myself to perform wonderfully from the start. The reality is that I can’t work as I used to, I don’t adapt as quickly or as well, and I have had a lot of problems managing anxiety and a host of other PTSD symptoms. My life has become somewhat constrained due to how much energy it takes for me to do my job, and I’ve not exactly made peace with it. I can work, I can have meltdowns on Thursday or Friday nights (or both) because I have a hard time moderating stress and my emotions while keeping both so compressed while working. Weekends are for resting and staying as far away as I can from anything that looks like a demand on me.

We lose something, I think, when we skip or miss or gloss over the transitions. They’re the time allotted for change and growth, to get ready for what’s next. We’ve lost something, I think, in a fast-paced, scarcity-minded society that has eschewed the formalities that once guided daily routine, that changed with the seasons and that helped us adjust to what’s next. Dressing for dinner. Tea time. Sunday potlucks. Church on Wednesday nights. Spring cleaning. Fall harvest. When we aren’t connected to the rituals and process of transition, we shouldn’t be too surprised when we don’t do it well.

I find myself frequently wishing for more moments of formal transition, while not acknowledging I have them. I have a ritual when I get home – I read a fashion blog and see what happened on social media when I wasn’t looking. I could have arriving home or going to bed rituals that could serve me better and guide how I manage my experience with PTSD, and I think that’s what I’m looking to do, because without a more intentional transition things can be a bit jarring.

I find a lot of things to be jarring.

But where I have the opportunity to create transitions, or notice them, I’ll work at it.

time for change sign with led light
Photo by Alexas Fotos on

7 thoughts on “Notice the Transitions

  1. Hmm! I hadn’t thought about transitions much. This is interesting.

    I’ve started having a “self-soothe” transition-time thing when I get back to my room. I turn on calming music and a pretty lamp, fan myself, feel a feather, eat a skittle and try to guess what flavor it, etc. Sensory stuff. It seems to be helping me not collapse when I get home and spend a while lying on the floor.
    I also have waking up and bedtime routines, which help me too. I suppose maybe I am thinking about transitions a little. 🙂

    Also! I, too, have a hard time dealing with emotions while at work/school. I normally push them down deep, and then when I’m alone, they all spring back up at me. I’m trying to be more mindful of them (observing, describing, validating, etc.) in the moment when they happen. But it’s hard to do, especially when I feel like there’s an expectation to not have emotions or to not have strong emotions… it kinda feels like there’s not *room* for my emotions at school. I’m trying to make room for them *internally* I guess?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I watch really intense (non-medical) tv drama because I cry and it helps me get that out? I used to never cry watching shows, but now I do. I don’t get swept up in the show, so I’m pretty take them or leave them, but on weekends I might binge watch the week’s worth just to release whatever I’ve kept a tight lid on all week because I can’t process it at the time. It might be because I bottled up my car wreck experience for so long that I don’t have practice in processing close on the heels of an experience, but rather wait till I’m “safe”?

      Good to hear you have routines, that sounds helpful and I’m also trying to not come home and lay on the floor after work, so maybe I’ll put a little more attention toward those transition times.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh that’s interesting! I can see how watching shows that make you cry could help, like kinda giving you a reason and place to release emotions? And that makes sense that you’d wait to process until you’re safe… I wonder if I do that, too.

        Thank you! 🙂 Yes is has been helpful for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

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