Your Changes Affect Others — Sometimes It Takes a Village

Your changes and others
Your changes nearly always affect someone else, too.

Your changes almost always involve two sets of people: you and the other people in your life who are touched by the change, whatever it may be.

In a previous post titled Going Through Changes? Supporting Yourself is Job #1 I wrote about how important it is to support yourself when you are going through life transitions.  And while that’s very true, it’s also vital that you consider the other people who will be impacted by your changes, whatever they may be.

Your changes aren’t just yours.

It’s not unusual for your changes to involve other people, as well as yourself. Indeed, life transitions often ripple outward, affecting families, friends, and co-workers.

Consider retirement, for example. At the most concrete level, your retirement means that:

  • You are no longer at work (an absence with implications for everyone you worked with, and
  • You are at home much more — a presence that affects everyone else who is at home.

For everyone involved, there are changes in the shape, feel, and content of daily activities. It manifests in both large and small ways.

Here’s another example…

Let’s consider another kind of transition — that of returning to work after you or your spouse has given birth and you’ve had two months of family leave. What are the changes that you’ll be going through? Well, let’s look at just a few of them:

  • You’ll both need to face the changes involved in returning to work.
  • And on top of that, you and your partner will have to adjust and coordinate around the demands of two different, perhaps conflicting, work schedules.
  • And, of course, your child will need to transition from having you home 24/7 to having other caregivers or, perhaps, being in daycare.

Maybe this example is something you’ve been through. It certainly illustrates how transitions often require a team approach.

Planning for your changes…

So, going back to the exercise I shared in that previous post, I recommend that, as you plan for your changes you keep the people close to you involved in your process.

  • Ask them what they see as important. Be sure to encourage each person in your circle to state what he or she thinks will be important during this life transition.
  • Allow each person making this life journey with you to be clear about what he or she needs.
  • Include, in your plan each person’s feelings, needs, and the unavoidable changes each will need to make.
  • For those of you who live alone, it is equally important to include your wider support system in your thinking and planning about this.

Problem-solving together creates a sense of teamwork and coordinates efforts. Each of you can make changes and accommodations that ease the transition for everyone concerned.

Remember that this is a dynamic process over time. Keep in touch with each other to ensure that original decisions are working. Stay current with one another and work to be open to adjusting the plan as your changes evolve.

And here’s more help for you…

Retirement is a change that marks a profound shift in how you spend your time. It can be very unsettling, and it also offers rich opportunities. Your changes are less jarring when you’re working with your loved ones and grounded in your own truth.

You’ll make more satisfying plans and choices as you move into this transition when they’re congruent with your values. So, ready to start planning?

Click HERE to sign up for your complimentary Heart-Based Retirement Planner today.

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