The mom turns over in bed and looks at the clock. It is 2am and she is wide-awake. Sweat trickles down her back as she kicks the covers off of her burning body. She is exhausted but sleep won’t come. If only someone could turn off her churning brain.
You want the truth about the change of life? I think you can handle it.
I am going through the change. I am irritable and emotional. I toss and turn at night, marinating in night sweats that accompany the endless lists in my head and the panic that I won’t remember everything there is to do. When the alarm goes off I am comatose, and drag myself out of bed, and stand staring at the bleak woman in the mirror.
I have gained about twenty pounds in the last two weeks. I think there is something wrong with my metabolism . . . or maybe it’s the abundance of all of the snacks that suddenly cram the pantry shelves. I am starting to get migraine headaches every time I check email and my hair is starting to fall out, heavy and slick with the lice repellant leave-in conditioner spray that coats it every day.
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I am a hot mess.
I know this won’t last forever, but it sure is painful when you are going through the change of life . . . from the summer season to back to school.
Yes, I am the same woman who rolled her eyes at summer. I admit it. I bemoaned the fact that with summer there is no routine, crazy schedules, complete chaos. But that was back when I was all regimented by the school year. And then that change of life happened . . . from school to summer.
Bottom line: change is hard.
Change can be hard on kids as they try to adjust to a new school year. They struggle to navigate increased academic expectations; to weather various social scenarios; and to just get a freaking good night’s sleep when their bodies are in summer mode, wanting to run around barefoot playing manhunt until about two hours past when they should be snoozing during the school year.
Change can be hard on parents as they try to adjust to a new school year. They attempt to ensure that everyone has what they need when they need it; to take care of paperwork, supplies, transportation and other basic requirements; to juggle meetings and activities; and to just get a freaking good night’s sleep when their bodies are in summer mode, wanting to sit on the patio sipping white wine until about two hours past when they should be snoozing during the school year.
But here’s the thing: change is good. It is good to mix it up. It is good to get thrown out of your comfort zone – those experiences are what force us to learn and to grow.
And when we are navigating change, the home front may emerge as a constant lifeboat in a sea of uncertainty. Family members offer continuous connection in contrast to a world in flux. The kid may not know what his gym locker combination is, but he knows his mom will always call him by that nickname that makes him smile. The mom may not remember if she turned in all of those health forms, but she does know that she sent a text to wish him good luck on the first day of school.
While we may feel some pain and suffering as we go through the uncertainty of life’s changes like back to school, the faithful love of family will always see us through. Because the truth is, the more some things change . . . the more the important ones stay the same.
Want to get a better handle on change in life? Lament change with this poignant clip courtesy of Robert Frost and The Outsiders movie, or embrace change with this classic by David Bowie, and in the event that you are going through that other change of life, check out this scoop from the National Institutes of Health.