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It Was Harder Than I Thought

Published on November 16, 2020

My husband and I have begun splitting our time between Chicago and Sarasota. After 30 years of Midwestern winters and a now (somewhat) empty nest, we bought a little bungalow near the beach in Lido Key and flew down earlier this year, in February. The plan was to be there for 6 to 8 weeks but, with the onset of Covid, we didn’t end up driving back until after Memorial Day.

As I write this it’s late October and, after a beautiful summer in Chicago, we’re on our first pandemic-era flight, the daily United nonstop to Sarasota. I’ve spent the past few weeks preparing for this, although this time we’re planning on being away for 7 months. To be honest, I’ve been feeling a bit melancholy—even shed a few tears on the drive to the airport.

I don’t think I realized how hard change is for me. I’m a homebody and a creature of habit. I don’t need or want a lot of excitement in my day-to-day life. I do work I love and I am surrounded by the people I love. There is power in place too. And I guess I underestimated how much the beautiful city of Chicago and the home we’ve made there are part of my everyday happiness.

Of course, I know that I will adapt to our life in Sarasota and create a routine there too, as I did before—work under the palm trees, walks on the beach, dinners on the patio. We are blessed to have this little slice of paradise in a friendly neighborhood.

Still, change is hard. I’m sitting with this new awareness. Feeling into it. Not berating or shaming myself for my “first-world” concerns. Simply accepting it.

YOUR TURN: How do you handle changes, big or small? What can you do to accept rather than minimize your feelings around difficult changes?
 

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Hélène Stelian, the Midlife Empowerment Coach

I’m Hélène, the Midlife Empowerment Coach. I help women who are struggling in midlife—who wonder if their best years are behind them and what’s next for them. I show them how to put themselves first, reclaim their identity, figure out what’s next, and feel excited about their future.

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