Two weeks before the new year: Everything is dusty. Everything. Even my paperclips. There is a constant clamoring of hammers, drills, and ladders scraping across the floors in the office. My office belongings are packed up in boxes all around me. My email has been disastrously down for an entire week right before Christmas when I fear my clients may need me most. My team is on edge with the transition looming over us and wearing us thin. Everything feels off.
I am a clockwork kinda person. For every season, holiday, birthday, whatever day you can count on me to aptly and proudly recite the corresponding tradition to compliment perfectly my experience, so as to have the lovely sameness I crave year after year. I am borderline OCD about it.
January 1 marks one of my favorite yearly transitions. Not only do we get to flip the calendar page, but we get to put a whole new calendar up! On top of that, it is a celebrated practice to create to-do lists and goals! Sign me up for my near favorite day of the year!
That is, until life gets a little too large for me and I get a call on New Year’s Day from my mom asking if I enjoyed the Rose Parade and I realize that I completely forgot about one of my traditions and I get ridiculously choked up about not seeing those flower festive floats; Or until I find myself on January 7th, still without a new 2016 calendar; or even yet, until I particularly struggle with putting pen to paper to imagine the year ahead and I just feel like crying because there is too much change that will happen in 2016 for this stubborn change-adverse Taurus to handle.
It reminds me of the year I flopped into the new year after my divorce. I didn’t yet have my bearings about me after having redesigned my entire life the year before. The thought of creating goals made me want to simultaneously laugh and weep. When I would otherwise typically draft out a vision for the year ahead, I just wanted to grieve the visions that had expired. I put pressure on myself, not to keep up with the Joneses, but to keep up with my old self. To not skip a beat on my well-worn path of tradition. I forgot to be gentle with myself. I forgot to forgive myself for needing a pass that year. Just like I did this year.
Divorce is a time to take a pass on “how things should be done” or “how I have always done it.” In this time, the foggiest of transition days, remember that you have permission to pace it down – to forget a few steps and instead rest. The parade will always air again next year. The dust will eventually settle and you will experience the feeling I did this week when I walked into our newly renovated office. The newness felt workable and even exciting, my view was clear and bright, and I knew my new normal was just around the corner.