Now that we are here and have been settling in for the past five months, I notice myself feeling comfortable with our day to day lives.. We have established some routines, started making some acquaintances, found some favorite vendors at the marché.
I have become familiar with how the sunlight moves through the house over the course of the day, how the school bell rings in the distance, calling kids in from recess. I notice myself becoming attached to the house we have rented and the hilltop town it is part of.
I like it here.
And there is the snag.
Because I am going to have to say goodbye at some point.
I think I have mentioned before how I am one of those people who REALLY prepares for transitions. My tendency is to start anticipating the transition before it’s approach is even on the horizon.
When my husband and I both worked in public education, I would announce on the Tuesday of any given week-long break, “Okay, we are about to be halfway through…” And he would shush me, and tell me to keep my transitioning to myself. He wasn’t interested in thinking about the vacation week being over until the following Sunday, when it truly would be just about over.
In theory, my efforts at pre-preparing for a transition would make it so that once the transition arrives, I AM REALLY PREPARED, like, superhero-style.
The reality isn’t exactly that. The transition seems to take the same amount of energy and require the same amount of flexibility and tenacity whether I have uber-prepared or not.
So, what does putting my attention on anticipating a transition so far ahead of time keep me from?
What am I covering up?
And what am I missing out on?
Perhaps in spending my time thinking about what is going to come next, I won't get too attached to the "here and now." By skating across the experience, rather than soaking it in, it'll be easier to unroot myself when the time comes.
I can choose this path of skating, so that it may be easier when it comes time to say goodbye. I should also know that in choosing to skate, I am also choosing disconnection and disappearance.
The other choice is to savor what is here, to soak it in and be fully present to the experience. Do I risk becoming more attached? Yes. Might it be harder to say goodbye in the end? Yes.
But what am I losing if I don't make that choice?
The words of David Whyte float through my mind, "The world was made to be free in..."
Let me be free to choose savoring, that I might explore and discover my current life and not worry about what comes next.
Let me be free to choose noticing that I might appreciate and absorb even the smallest detail.
Let me be free to choose lingering, that I might experience the fullness of what is here.
Nothing needs to be conjured, nothing needs to be devised.
Indeed, I like it here.
What freedoms are calling to you? How could you let yourself be more free?
Jessica Curtis is a professional coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.