It doesn’t matter whether you are moving to a new city, switching careers, or coming out of an intense flow state before diving into another. The in-between times are the most dangerous. These are the times are when you are most vulnerable to fear and resistance creeping in, to negativity and moodiness, and to creativity being quashed.
I’ve experienced this phenomenon in many situations. On a small scale, I feel a twinge of it most days when I break during my morning work hours. On a larger scale, it always, always happens when I’m undergoing a massive change in my life and there are weeks of waiting or preparation. When I’m not quite here, but not quite there yet.
After four days of driving and countless weeks of packing and prep, I have finally arrived in Chicago– my new home. The move was relatively smooth, but I’m proud of how well I handled being away from my work rituals. In the past, moves and big life disruptions like this have been very hard on me creatively and emotionally. Not being able to work on my projects for days on end tends to make me worry and think crazy thoughts like: What if I never get to work ever again?! It’s amazing how fast we devolve when we aren’t doing the things that energize us on a regular basis.
But not this time. This time I was prepared for it.
Here are a few tips for helping you get through those in-between times, particularly when you’re changing something major in your life.
1. Set Low Expectations
Know that you won’t get much done during this time, and maybe even frame it as a sabbatical in your mind.
2. Go Easy on Yourself
As you know, I’ve just started a 15 minute writing ritual. Since starting this practice a few weeks ago, I’ve missed only one day. It was a day when we had nearly ten hours of driving to do. I hadn’t slept very well the night before, and we had to get up and start packing up the car right away. To stop and write would have slowed things down and irritated my partner. But I was too exhausted to even think about writing once we arrived at our destination, so I let it slide and got back to my writing practice the next day.
If you neglect a creative ritual, don’t chastise yourself or take it to mean something bigger than it is. Just get back on the horse as soon as you can.
3. Don’t Over-Commit
For once I didn’t take on five new projects in the weeks leading up to the move. I think multipotentialites have a tendency to get interested in new pursuits when they feel a lack of control in other areas of their life. I know that I do this. It was hard, but I fought the urge to tinker with a bunch of new passions last month. Instead I took the time to tie up loose ends and get everything to a place where I could step away comfortably.
Do what you can to make your transition as smooth as possible. Ask for help wherever you can, and let other people know that you won’t be very available while you’re transitioning.
5. Remember that it’s not forever, and set a date to resume your work
Schedule a chunk of time on a day in the future that seems reasonable and won’t stress you out. I’m writing this the day after our boxes and furniture were delivered and we unpacked a little. There’s still a ton to do– buying shower curtains, setting up utilities, calling our property manager, etc. — but now that we’re somewhat settled, I can feel good about taking a few hours in the morning and getting back to my work. If you set a tentative date to resume, it will help give you something concrete to look forward to.
How have you dealt with major life transitions while being a multipotentialite with all of your grand multipotentialite projects?
P.S. I know that there a lot of you live in the Chicago area, and I can’t wait to meet you! I will absolutely be organizing a multipotentialite meetup once I’m settled in. I’ll send out an email with the details soon, so make sure you’re on the list. Until then, this is what I’ll be up to:
(Note: Grendel is no help when it comes to unpacking…)