I find that when life pivots in ways I was not expecting, it takes me time to adjust. I have to rearrange and reevaluate my lifestyle. I have to adapt in order to make things work. I have to strive to conform to a new way of life: cook differently, think differently, shop differently. It is through those changes and adaptations that I grow. I learn a lot about my strength. I learn about my grit. I learn to focus on making things work, rather than making things work perfectly. I realize good enough must be good enough. At a time of survival, the focus is on progress, not perfection.
All aspects of life become unknowns when change occurs; physical health, mental wellbeing, financial stability, social connections. More questions than answers appear when we are faced with challenges, sometimes for the first time in years. Change is obscure and fearful and unique. It causes chaos, or anger, even bewilderment.
There is no five-step process to take, no life hack to rely on, when a big life change comes up. No online course to guide us back to normalcy. Sobering reality reminds us there is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer, but one thing to not forget is to continue.
Slowly, but surely.
Progress in the things you can control. Progress in the way you think about a problem. Progress in the manner in which success is defined.
So, in a time of change it is imperative to remember that things do not need to be perfect. Life will be messy. And complicated. And multifaceted. Perfection is unrealistic, especially when life is throwing curveballs, so striving for progress — intentionally striving to make life a little better is critical. Taking that extra step (whether actual or metaphorically speaking) will lead to growth. It may take longer than predicted but it will happen- even in the middle of chaos. It is better than remaining stagnant and letting the world evolve around you. It is better than regressing to old habits that neither serve nor motivate you. Regardless of what progress looks like, it is still progress – and that is important.
Yes, goals may have to adapt or change. That marathon at the end of the year may not be happening, but that doesn’t mean you stop running all together. That meticulously planned three-week summer vacation may be pushed back to next year, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop scouting tourist spots to visit. It means you have to brainstorm new ways to get things done and set new deadlines for goals (or even set up mini-goals to work on until you can achieve the big dream). By no means must you make a full stop and throw your hands in the air. Progress can continue, it just may look a little differently.
Setting up new routines is challenging. Uncertainty of what’s to come can be frightening. Figuring out the next move can be daunting, but when life gives you lemons make sure to make the absolute best lemonade possible.