Life can change by stepping outside the door, at the flick of a light switch, with the buzz of a text message. In split seconds, uncomfortable presents its self, accompanied by unknown. Some of us recognize it as fear. But fear not.
Discomfort can be one of your very best friends. It is unrealistic to believe that we can get through life feeling nothing but comfy and cozy. During those “life is good” times we hang on tight because we never know when circumstances will change. That’s life.
In the empty nest stage, discomfort sneaks up on us. We can see it coming but we don’t know for sure when it will arrive. We think we are ready but we are not. At first it startles, then settles in a little more subtly. We try to ignore it but it follows us around until we acknowledge and sit down with it.
That’s what I did last summer. I surrendered to the changes I was experiencing and befriended my discomfort. I welcomed it into my home, picked up my journal and got acquainted with life’s inevitable transformation. I have focused on my children and planned for them to live independent and productive lives. During this next stage I would turn the lens on myself.
In making friends with discomfort, I learned some valuable lessons.
Discomfort encourages us to take a look at our lives.
It causes us to ask questions such as:
Who am I without my children?
What direction do I want my life to take now?
How do I use my life to make a difference?
Discomfort causes us to use our resources.
We examine our strengths.
We rediscover our gifts and search for places to share them.
We seek and reconnect with our people, the ones who encourage us to be authentic, accept us unconditionally and nurture our growth.
Discomfort brings out our creativity.
It is time to get playful.
Have some fun exploring our choices and opportunities. Some might be right at our fingertips, others might send us off on one of life’s biggest adventures.
We are in position to discover more of life’s great joy!
Discomfort causes us to move.
We can only sit around dazed for so long. Once we have taken stock and found our support systems, there is only one thing left to do. ACT.
At this stage of life, it is our time. We’ve been daughters, students, wives, mothers, and caregivers. This is our chance to be our true selves. Engage in life on a new level. Turn up the intensity a notch. Prepare to share our gifts on a bigger stage.
Get comfortable with discomfort. See where it leads. We might be pleasantly surprised.