Friday, September 25, 2009


I had a sponsee in the past that taught me to " attention to the transitions...". The context was "in life" but I've learned that it's applicable to all facets of my awareness.

I'm aware that, in our culture and society, we've diminished many of the celebrations that we (humankind) used to celebrate major milestones and transitions in our lives. For example:
  1. At our local university, less than 1/3 of the graduating class participate in commencement ceremonies
  2. In most relationships (my current one included), most couples think of living together as a matter of convenience or economically driven rather than having a marriage to demarcate a commitment and change in their lives
  3. We have become so nomadic in our lives that a "house warming" or other notification of moving into a community (or out of a community) is the exception rather than the norm
  4. Seasonal demarcations (e.g. solstice, equinox, etc.) and holidays are not universally accepted and some that generally are (e.g. Christmas, birthdays) are sometimes hijacked by commercial interests (I'm not saying here that commercialization is a bad thing but it diverts the focus from the transition that the event is about)
I could go on but it just seems, as a culture, we just presume we drift from one thing to another and it should just "not be any real big deal". In fact, locally, folks that hold to the old traditions of celebrating milestones fully are seen as sort of weird.

I do the same thing - I presume that I should be able to just move, change jobs, change relationships, watch the seasons come and go, health come and go, see new life, see death, etc. - without it affecting me in any way. It's not that the neutrality that I aspire to is bad or wrong - it's that I go way past neutral to where I expect to remain asleep - numb - to changes. Small or major.

So, I think I'm supposed to "notice" the transitions. I'm supposed to tell the truth about them.

There is a sadness that I feel in the fall - death - discomfort - different types of work. Change.

I don't think I need to follow that into the quagmire of depression. But I do try to be honest about it.

In my work, I move between several (sometimes a couple dozen or more) different tasks in a day. My day works out better if I notice the completion of each task, thank God, then notice and fully give myself to the next task.

At odds with this (for me) is the whole myth (for me) of multi-tasking. I've always believed that I was really good at multi-tasking. I've often been praised for it. However, I've noticed that my life works much better, and I get more done, if I completely give myself to one task at a time.

It's an old idea that has died slowly - but, I've tried to appreciate and notice that transition as well.


Steve E. said...

Transitions: Why not think of fall as a transition into winter?

Transitions (in life) are of a different hue.

Transition in music is the manipulation of notes in a melody, thereby moving them to another key without disturbances. Or maybe moving the melodies to another section.

Transition almost always denotes a change...

dAAve said...

This world we live in seems ot change daily. I gotta do my best to change with it.

Since my last year of drinking I have barely been able to multi-task at much of anything. Burned up too many brain cells.

Pam said...

This is an excellent post darlin'.

Mary Christine said...

Thanks for this.

Scott said...

that's an interesting post, got me thinking...

I am going through a transition in my life right now... career change, major one lol

Looking back, my entire sober life has been one series of transitions... I used to be so afraid of change, now I seem to thrive on transitions, embracing growth and change. It's exciting.

Carol said...

I totally agree with your list of 1-4. Personally, I think that it is a way that we deaden ourselves and deny that change is happening, that what happens to us is important. It is a form of self abuse to ignore the changes in our lives.

Scott W said...

What works best is what I try to find and then stick with it. Who cares if it isn't the most recent concept? Not I.

Syd said...

You write a lot of what I have been thinking about lately. I think that there is something missing in our culture today. I'm not sure that I understand the nomadic, lack of commitment, and lack of manners that are so prevalent today.