ON YOUR MARK . . .

fullmoonSometimes, everything (note the exaggeration) seems hard.

I have felt like nothing (almost) has been easy this week as I transition from a job I have loved as a chaplain in a clinic, to a job I am very excited about as Director of Pastoral Care at a hospital within the same health care system. I thought I could make the move without grieving or going through that much change, as I’m only moving 3 -4 blocks away for goodness sake.

I should have known better.

Oh sure, there were some tears before I left and I shared them openly with individuals and groups. I took time to say thank you and goodbye to my colleagues and patients, gave out hugs, handed off responsibilities to make it a smooth, seamless, painless transition.  And I knew change was coming.

GET SET . . .

Then, this week I began getting ready for my new job . . . by taking a week off.

Does that sound like a paradox to you? How does one get ready for a new job by planning and setting goals, and getting rest and renewal at the same time?

Mary offered gentle, patient encouragement for me to rest and renew my spirit. But as usual, it took me awhile to come around. The first couple of days I pressed hard trying to make everything be just like I wanted it to be. I created an expectation in my head that I could get everything lined up ahead of time so that I could walk into my new job on Monday and fit nicely into an immediate routine. Not so fast.

I had planned to have all of my books in my bookcases, and my pictures hung in my new office by now. But it took a lot longer to clear out my old office than I expected. The boxes and pictures will be sitting on the floor when I walk into my office on Monday. Each box reminds me, “you are going through change.”

My work phone number, mailing address, and email address changed. Keys, ID Badges, business card, and a pager are different. Bookcases, a chair, and a computer are yet to be ordered. New software to learn and new ways of doing things await.

When our world is unfamiliar, or out-of-sync, and change is in our face, we are reminded we are not in charge. We cannot control everything, or much at all when you think about it.

Grief, or the loss of what is routine and familiar in our lives, is expressed in many forms . . . tears and sadness for sure, but also frustration, impatience, grumpiness, and more. I know this from personal experience. Grief and adjustment to change has its own pace and cannot be hurried along.

SLOW DOWN . . .

So, I think I’ll take long walks with my wife, Mary, and our lab, Daisy, this weekend, have dinner with friends, get a little exercise, go shopping, and take some time to be still and quiet.

Change is coming, but I don’t have to fight it anymore.

Thank God.