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?