If you’ve been following along on the ‘grams you’ll know that Bodhi has well and truly arrived.
The decision to add a pup to our little family was something we have been mulling over for A Long Time. Because neither of us has ever had a dog before, our house is not that big and there is the non-trivial issue of the existing furs. As well, I have a pretty well-established routine and I was apprehensive at what all that puppy energy might do to my work day.
But a few months ago I just felt ready. Because: what if it was amazing? What if we wait forever? What if we are just postponing a shit-tonne of joy?
We spent five hours driving to Cornwall one weekend and had a conversation about all the pros and cons, what mattered to both of us, and generally trying to predict an unknowable outcome as best we could.
This possibly sounds very cautious and dull! But we have found that spending time on big decisions and being really intentional, allowing each other the right of veto, means both of us feels listened to, and there is no resentment or manipulative weirdness. It works for us.
In that one car journey, we made the decision to change our family.
And this is what I know about change – it usually happens super fast.
It’s reading the word ‘sorry’ in the redundancy letter, glimpsing the plus sign on the stick you’ve just peed on, deciding to start your own business. It’s saying I quit, it’s over, let’s do it! Change can also be a quiet and personal promise to yourself: I am no longer going to drown my feelings in excellent pinot noir.
There is a momentary shift where you are no longer the person you were seconds before.
Sometimes we get a new name: wife, mother, widow. But often there is no ceremony, no ritual, no witness – we just know we are different.
I often work with clients who say they dread and avoid change, but I am convinced this is not true.
Change is arguably the easy bit.
It’s the transition that gets us.
Transition involves all the internal rearranging we go through, to come to terms with the newness.
At best it can be disorienting and destabilising. At worst, it can feel like being pecked to death by ducks.
It’s days of being either ignored or lovingly assaulted by a new puppy. It’s months spent creating the new website for your new business only to find no one is clicking. It’s years of learning how to experience the full spectrum of your feelings while sober.
Even fun changes like getting a puppy, come with this period of transition. We are learning how to be good ‘pawrents’ (I know), Bodhi is learning commands that will help him to be confident, happy and safe, and Badger and Rex are learning how to share.
There is a reason why this is the part in the movie covered by a montage.
Transition is often long, dull and repetitive with lots of setbacks. It’s a disorienting place, ripe with self-doubt.
Of course we want to minimise the murky uncertainty of it!
But it’s easy to forget that it is who we become during the transition that enables us to inhabit the new.
I am trying to just be with it all, and not wait for the montage.
Are you going through a transition? Whats the biggest challenge of this for you?