Skip to main content

Preparing for Change

As the weather turns slowly from summer to fall, I am increasingly aware of other changes
making their way into my life.  I don't fear change. In fact, I know that change is a "normal" part of the life process. If we push too hard against inevitable change, we meet resistance and frustration.  Sometimes, though, changes come on so slowly that we don't even notice the gradual shift until the "new" has been fully replaced by "the old".

Some gradual changes...
I'm writing less on a formal basis these days. There was no conscious decision about this. I have just become more involved in other things.  I still think about writing quite a bit and I often write "for myself" (journaling, etc.) but I am blogging on a less frequent basis and my writing for other publications has slowed down. It's ok because I know that everything cycles back around eventually.

I'm reading more.  I had gone for a long time without reading for pleasure.  This summer, I went on a tear and have really enjoyed plugging through my Goodreads list.  

My work responsibilities are shifting. While my job at the Dominion School for Autism remains steady, my role at CJSTUF is changing slightly. By year's end, I will no longer hold the "Executive Director" role in the organization. We are shifting job responsibilities, titles, and roles, naming Roger as Director of Programs with Michelle, our current event coordinator, moving into a Managing Director role.  Of course, my involvement with CJSTUF will continue, especially during this transitional period. However, I know that in order for our organization to truly grow, we need people who can provide more dedication and focus to their roles.  I see outgrowing my current role as a success!

Finally, there is domestic shifting.  As most of you know, we started the formal process this spring to become Resource (foster/adoptive) Parents with UMFS.  Four months in, the paperwork continues! If you have never been down this road before, you should know that Hollywood's version of foster/adoptive parenting (e.g.,  Parenthood, The Fosters, The Blind Side) tends to leave out that part of the process because, well, it's frankly not very exciting.  Suffice it to say that there is paperwork and approvals for everything from having our fingerprints and background checks completed to having complete physicals; knowing everything about our home from our pets to our fire escape routes; and checking to make sure we have all the safety procedures in our home that are needed when expecting a child in foster care.  

We started our home study last week. This interview process should be completed by around November and we hope to be ready to accept a child (or children) in our home by January.  With all of that has come the biggest domestic shift. We have been moving items from our upstairs bedrooms, getting them "kid ready", without really knowing whether our home will welcome a 5 year old boy, a 15 year old girl, or any combination in between.  We decided to keep Charlotte's room relatively intact but it is becoming the new office and CJSTUF storage hub.  

All of this necessitates moving furniture, emptying cabinets, and getting rid of unnecessary and unused items.  It's good spring cleaning. It just takes a while.  I sometimes find myself intending to get a lot done on this front only to end up turning in circles, walking items from one room to the next and never finishing anything.  Fortunately, help is on the way! My aunt is coming to visit in a few weeks and with her penchant for organizing, I know the job will be accomplished in due time. 

There is something very Zen in accepting change as it comes.  In fact, I found a quote from Lao Tzu that seems to sum it up perfectly: “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” 

Some days, that quote is easier to believe than others but I'm always hoping to find that flow that change allows. That is truly how we grow.  

Popular posts from this blog

The Edge of Seventeen

It's that time of year when the blog musings center on my grief journey. Every year, it seems like we are busy with end-of-the-year school activities and the start of summer, planning vacations, and then (kablam)'s almost July 9.  Grief is funny. Grief is weird. I remember very early after Charlotte died, I watched the movie Rabbit Hole.  There's an amazingly poignant scene where Nicole Kidman's character is talking with another woman who lost a child over 10 years before (played by Dianne Wiest). She talks about grief being like a brick in your pocket. It never goes away. Sometimes you can even forget it's there. But it comes back and makes its presence known from time to time. And (she says) "it's what you have of them."    I probably did not fully realize then what a powerful and true analogy that is. As time goes on, our grief changes. Yet, it is always there on the edge of things. It sits in that pocket and sometimes makes itself known.  This

The Stages of Grief: COVID Edition

It's 2020. It's almost Christmas. We're still in the middle of a pandemic. In fact, we are experiencing what appears to be an incredible surge that is exerting tremendous pressure on our healthcare and social service system. The headlines are clear: we're not done with this madness and December 31, 2020 will not magically be the "end of it".  Earlier in the year, our family thought about whether we might be able to travel at this time. We thought that maybe the curve would be flat enough that we could take a few days away from home during the Christmas holidays. We realized that the pandemic would still be happening, but with the right protections and with prolific mask usage, we could get a much-needed change of scenery. During what is now (clearly) a delusional thought process, we booked a stay in Gatlinburg, Tennessee for the week of December 19th. Spoiler alert: we canceled the trip almost two weeks ago.  Canceling this trip was not a tragedy. In fact, I

Bittersweet Sixteen

I think about Charlotte every single day. However, this time of year, I'm flooded with all kinds of memories as we commemorate the anniversary of her birth. This year feels like a bit of a milestone. Sixteen.  If cancer had not taken her life back in 2010, I have a feeling I would be planning a massive birthday celebration this year. 16 always feels like a landmark year in someone's life.  I have been thinking a great deal about the last birthday party we had for Charlotte in 2009. We didn't know it at the time, but we were halfway through her treatment journey. We had been through three major brain surgeries and a few rounds of inpatient chemotherapy. Treatments were not going well. In fact, right after her birthday, we would make the trip to Houston, Texas where we would settle in for about 10 weeks of proton beam radiation treatments and a new customized chemotherapy protocol. This was the unspoken "last chance option" to beat that aggressive brain tumor into