Starting Over

Empowerment Center

Starting Over

We start over a lot, far more than we realize. While I’m preparing for a major life change it’s got me reflecting on all the starting over I’ve done recently and will continue to do.

Starting over after…
51 years in one country,
22 years at one address,
12 years in a brick-and-mortar,
4 years on Howard Street,
6 months of planning,
6 weeks in temporary housing,
10 hours of travel,
8 hours of sleep.

I genuinely view, and take, every day as an opportunity to start over. That might mean making a shift to my morning routine, or changing the direction I’m going on a project. It might, in the case of my upcoming move overseas, require change on several fronts all at the same time or be limited to one aspect of life. Regardless of the scope, change can be disruptive and scary - and that’s OK!

Our tolerance for starting over seems to behave like a muscle that gets stronger with use. I strengthen this muscle every time I sit down with my bullet journal to plan out the coming day/week/month. I stretch this muscle every time I try on a new element for my daily routine. Right now I’m working on this muscle’s endurance (some might even say I’m over-training) by changing all the things all at once! The reward for this workout routine is that I get to start over stronger, every time.

When you have the luxury of planned change you get to spend some time looking back as you plan forward. Taking time to consider what’s been working and what’s no longer serving you can help you make the changes that will move you towards your goals.

And for those unexpected starting over moments that shake us to our core?

Sometimes, starting over is forced upon us. It’s important to remember that not all starting over moments are positive or welcome, especially those that come out of nowhere. Looking at what’s in front of you and surrounding yourself with support can make all re-starts easier.

What’s next for you? How will you flex your starting over muscles?
-Malik Turley

One Response

  1. Nancy Cohen says:

    We, my partner and I, crashed onto a new and unexpected course almost a decade ago, one that is not pleasant. One that upended all our future plans and derailed his engineering career. His Parkinson’s diagnosis was something that he didn’t want to discuss with anyone. For the most part it was a slow decline. Tremors could be partly controlled by meds and surgery. He could no longer take long walks or hike. Then, he couldn’t bike for miles and miles and decreased from steady to almost dangerously slow. One day he stopped. But then neighbors gave him a gift, an exercise bike. A little bit of a fight back that he uses every day. Soon a day came when he couldn’t walk stairs safely. In fast succession he had moved from cane to walker to standard wheelchair to motorized wheelchair. That last change came over months, not years. During this time, he lost a lot of ability to speak. But he has taught me about attitude. When he got the wheelchair, although depressed, he found a good side. Now he could safely attend a family wedding.

    Change used to be ok with me. Until it upended my independence, too. I hover. Worry. Am afraid he’ll choke. Fight with relatives who know nothing about Parkinson’s but won’t seek out information. Who tell me what to do to keep him safe. We moved from our stair-ridden home of 41 years to a seniors community three months ago and if there is a big change, that is it. It is not where we imagined ourselves landing. But the people are friendly, the place gorgeous, and I have a small garden plot. These are all tiny bandages on the pain of leaving our home and some travel plans behind. Transition takes time. Acceptance takes time. It was my idea to move and I still cry over it, but I’m curious about how we will adapt over the few remaining good years we will have. We don’t know, but we’d better not waste the time.

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