LIFE Is in the Transitions!
Entering 2021, with vaccines not yet available and all of us hunkered down and staying safe, here are some questions to consider (I suggest writing responses to these and cognitive journaling):
- What’s the first thing you want to do when COVID is under control?
- What has been the most disturbing thing about 2020?
- What have you learned as a result of the COVID era? What has it taught you about yourself?
- What have you learned about family dynamics? How do you want to maintain or change the way you connect with family?
- What do you want to bring forward and keep alive from this Time of COVID, and what do you want to leave behind? What patterns in your life do you want to change?
Use these questions as you start working on your 2021 plan! Please join us on Facebook to discuss these questions.
Book Recommendation: “Life Is in the Transitions”
One of my favorite people, Sara Hamilton, highly recommended to me a new book,
“ Life Is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age,” by Bruce Feiler. The book is really a useful reminder of how nonlinear our lives can be and how many transitions we all go through, from a death in the family to a major health issue to a career change.
We still are born, we still die and we still have anywhere from 78 to 116 years on this planet, so we should have an Intentional Life Plan to make the most of our time! Writes Feiler:
“The idea that personal growth involves setting goals has a long history. In the 1840s, Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard said that when one personal dream gets crushed, we must turn to another, a process he likened to crop rotation. In the 1960s, psychologists identified the plan as a central feature of human behavior. Individuals who overcome obstacles have been shown to be self-determined, intentional, and future oriented. They make plans.”
Writes Sara, “I found the wisdom of Bruce Feiler’s writing to be a confirmation of what we all know … that transitions happen always, a reality which is often dismissed. (Why would we be so different from other forms of life on the planet?) Secondly, that transitions can be seen as invitations to be honest, mindful, patient … and may in fact, ultimately, be to our benefit. And thirdly, that we all respond to life’s invitations/transitions in our own way and usually it gets messy with back and forth … and that it is not helpful to measure our response to how others have gone forward. Any judgments of yourself or others takes energy away from the stamina to keep on keeping on and basically gets in the way.”
Feiler’s Life Story Project involved hundreds of interviews about life transitions and some of the outmoded recommendations. His book discusses the high frequency of disruptions; most of us will face 30–40 disrupting events in our lifetimes, from 13 moves to three accidents to marriages and/or divorces, and to heart attacks, addictions, sexual assault and more. The average person goes through one disruption every 12–18 months — and that doesn’t even include pandemics! His notion of “lifequakes” — events that are higher on the Richter scale and can damage us, with aftershocks for years — is really helpful to consider. “When you do the math, that means nearly half our lives are spent responding to one of these episodes,” he writes.
I also recommend reading his chapter on “The ABCs of Meaning” and the importance of agency, belonging and causes in our lives as you examine your life during this transitional pandemic.
Want to do something fun and good? The oldest bookstore in Oregon (the seventh-oldest in the U.S., I think), Klindt’s Booksellers, is here in The Dalles. If you decide to purchase “Life Is in the Transitions,” why not order it on their website (they ship), or ring them at 541–296–3355? It would make a huge impact!
New Year’s ‘Revolutions’! Recalibrating Your Intentional Life Plan
Here’s our blog post about how to review the year that was and plan for the year ahead. What about having New Year’s “revolutions” instead of resolutions, our friend Lisa asks? Life is in the transitions!
Why not give the gift of a life plan to a friend or family member? There’s no better time to create an Intentional Life Plan! Helping someone make the most of the time they have on this planet is one of the best gifts you can give. Check out the offer below on our workbook.
See you in Q1 of 2021! Be safe. Wear a mask. Stay six feet apart.
Lee Weinstein is the author of “Write, Open, Act: An Intentional Life Planning Workbook” available at bookstores worldwide and in The New York Times.
Originally published at https://www.writeopenact.com on December 4, 2020.