(Previously published on 23 March, 2015)
The other day I was carrying out an analysis of my life and my perception of what makes life hard, as well as how that metamorphosed over time. You see when I was young, I felt that my homework was hard. I hated homeworks. I don’t know how many of you were like me, but at that time life seemed hard because I had homeworks. Lol! Just those sad feelings in primary school, when you wanted to watch TV or play games with your friend, and was told “No… you must finish your homework first”. Like arrggh! Only problem is by the time you finished your homework, you were probably sent to bed cause it was sleep time. Lol! Now let’s fast forward to many years later now that you are an adult, and let me ask the question – where are your primary school homeworks on the‘ hard scale’ now? … Interesting right?
As you grow up life moves from school to higher school to work, then work/school+life partner, or potentially work+school+life partner, to work+/school+life partner+children, then work+/school+ life partner+children + grandchildren, and infact potentially work+/school+ life partner+children + grandchildren +extended family and… I mean I could go on and on and on and… Pheew! It could be different combinations depending on what life throws at you; and add to that potential life challenges including money issues, family issues, child issues, personal issues, career chaos, grief, health issues, relationship issues etc. The more you grow, the more you realise – Wow!!… Life was just about easier when I was a child.
So question is – How do you manage the transitions of life? How do you deal with life’s phases? In fact… How do you grow up? Below are some of my thoughts. I hope they help…
- Be prepared to be responsible – When you are young the older ones make the decisions; i.e the parents et al. But as you grow, ‘being responsible’ becomes a need, as growing up involves taking responsibility – responsibility for yourself and a lot of what happens around you. Reality is life’s phases come with options and consequences, and therefore the need for decisions, decisions, decisions. Responsibility is what will make us give it the best shot (even if we don’t always get it right), as we navigate through life. Sadly, responsibility can also come with pain.
- Be open to learn- Life is about learning. It’ll be difficult to advance in life if you are not open to learn. Some things you’ll learn by reading. Some others by understanding other people’s experiences… And many others you’ll just have to learn by making your own mistakes.
- Live in the current phase –I guess one error many of us make as we progress through life is to be in one phase but covet the next; only we get to that phase and go “Oh my!” For example when you are 15 you can’t wait till you are 18. And then you hit 18 and suddenly want to be 25 (I remember doing this myself. Lol!!). Then you get to 25 and can’t wait till you are 30. Only thing is from here it slowly begins to dawn on you that you are getting old, as small bouts of anxiety begin to set in about how much you have or haven’t accomplished. Then you get to the big 40 but want to be 21 again. Lol!! Oh the paradox of growing up.
- Decide to Challenge yourself a bit more – Now let me make this clear: That a phase is hard does not mean it will not be fun; you will learn new things and have some fun while at it. But the reality is each new phase of life comes with new battles, and therefore a requirement for more hope, a greater pain threshold, and in fact more prayers and will power. New phase, new challenge, ‘more push’.
- Enjoy each phase– Give yourself room to enjoy each phase to the max, and have as much fun (reasonable fun) as that phase permits. Don’t be in a rush to change phases. Don’t be in a hurry to grow. For example, until you get married use your ‘single’ time for personal development, or tour the world without the added hustle of needing permission from someone else. If you are also yet to have kids, … well… I advice you enjoy as much sleep as you can; cause when the babies come, your sleep hours drop. It’s just how it is.
I often tell those close to me that when I think about the phase of my life when I was in Uni, I often wish I had partied just a bit more, and been just a little less serious (Yep… I know I was a geek. Lol!). But oh well!…There’s nothing I can do about that now but have as much fun as I can in my current phase. What about you?
Remember… Its’ all about phases. So smile
**I will enjoy each season of my life mindset**
Do you have any further tips on managing life phase transitions and like to share? Why not do so in the comments box below.
© Dr Vivian O. Ikem, 2015