Thursday, January 29, 2015


Although I've watched myself making the transition from being a girl to being a woman, I still feel 15 years old. My reflection disagrees.


Transition, noun: the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
Synonyms: change, passage, move, transformation, conversion, metamorphosis, alteration, handover, changeover; segue, shift, switch, jump, leap, progression; progress, development, evolution, flux

Lately I am thinking about transitions (see above). I even perused two dictionaries, both of which did not entirely agree with the above definitions that I culled from the Internet. (There's a lesson in there somewhere.)

About all I came up with is that a transition is a noun: the process or period during which something goes from one state or condition to another.

Change, on the other hand, is mostly used as a verb: to vary, alter, or otherwise modify, transform, etc. something or someone.

We've come to regard transition as a verb (sorry, I didn't mean this to become an English class)--we talk about transitioning from one state to another. The quotation I used at the beginning of this post shows the proper use--making the transition--of the noun.

Whew! Now that we've got that settled, let's go on with transition as a noun and what it means in Real Life.

In the past I’ve recognized I was going through a transition only after I passed through it. Does that make sense? I think so.
Now, at an advanced age, I am aware of transition as I make it . . . for example, what I’m doing differently now that I have some limitations. Such as:

Tendinitis – I knit or sew for shorter periods of time, in order to keep my
arm from going into spasms.
     Lower energy levels – My days are planned around the must-dos so that
     I don’t overdo; three events in one day are the absolute limit. Sometimes
     it’s just one, such as a big family holiday dinner with lots of folks around.

     Memory and Follow-through – I don’t do long-term projects. Small ones
     suit me now because I’ll get them finished. My life is strewn with WIPs
     (Works in Progress) that may never get to the finish line: quilts cut out
     but not sewn, half-knitted items, manuscripts of  the beginnings of stories;
     not to mention boxes of stored items in the garage that may (but probably
     don’t) contain items of value, but should be sorted.
Some days I’m not happy with myself. My Today List is longer than the hours it takes to accomplish them, now that I’m a tortoise and not a hare. (Did I used to get all that stuff done in one day?) I go to bed vaguely dissatisfied with unfinished projects, items on my list that didn’t get checked off.

Then I remember all the things that I did do—perhaps small things that never made it to The List: an email to a friend I don’t see very often; a phone call from one of the kids; bills paid so I don’t get penalties; bird feeders filled and suet put out. If I can recall these things, then I realize I’m not totally inert. I may not move as fast as I used to (Tortoise Syndrome), but I do move. And I remember that there’s always another day (probably) in which to do some more.
I suspect the real point of transitions has to do with perspective--how does a person react to the change from one state or condition to another? Here's a glimpse at my perspectives:

I'm not crazy about having tendinitis, which can be treated, but after a while its effects are definitely limiting to some of my activities. Should I give up knitting? Quit sitting at a sewing machine to make quilts for charitable giving?
     No, but I don't have to give myself impossible deadlines.

A super-busy day on the calendar has me almost dreading it. If I don't have enough energy to get through an extra activity, what's the worst thing that will happen?
     I'll take a nap when I get home--or go to bed earlier--or give myself a
     "day off" the next day to rest up.

Some of my half-baked projects can be finished--by someone else, perhaps; or by me, if they morph into something besides what they first were intended to be.
     Nothing is cast in stone; I can change my mind without penalty--after all,
     it's my project.

Transitions aren't good--or bad. They simply are. They signal the change from one state or condition to the next. (See definitions at the beginning of this post.)

Sometimes they're happy changes--from being a single gal to being a married one. Or from Mom to Grandma. Sometimes they're less desirable--aging with some of the health problems (and wrinkles and grey hair and gravity problems) that may accrue as we mature.

But if we're still alive, we're always in transition. Think about it.