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In Times of Transition, Listen to Your Mother

Updated: Jun 21



I awaken to the sound of my sobs. With six days to go ‘til departure, I’m sleeping fitfully, dreaming anxiously.


The image of my mom’s face, empty, nothing but an outline like a round tin can and a mute oval mouth, lingers in my head. I curl up and stare behind my eyelids to try to see her: What’s she trying to say? Whimpers seep out of me.


No one said this transition would be easy. But it seems so much harder this time.


Mom was there for my last big move, 10 years ago, as I struck out for Peace Corps Mexico. She saw me off, and was there to proudly greet me two years later when I returned home.

This time around, I’m going it alone.


Annie, you need help, Mom’s trying to tell me.


Brow crinkled, I sit up and blink in the dim dawn light. Funny coming from her: she raised me in the Little Engine that Could school of thought.


I’ve never been one to ask for help.


Mom’s disturbing image dissipating, the transition to-do lists begin to fill my head – X, Y, Z – I grab a pen and bullet them as that damn toddler refrain repeats itself like a skipping record: I think I can, I think I can, I know I can…


I slide my glasses on and the to-dos come into sharp focus. My newly remodeled master bedroom remains fully inhabited. My updated, orderly Elfa closets are still packed with clothes, and the sliding shoe racks pared down to upteen favorite pairs. The built-in bookcase holds my collection of writing, memoir, and spiritual books, the linen closet laden with sheets, blankets, and throws for all seasons. My art covers the walls and rugs adorn the floors.


The built-in bookcase holds my collection of writing, memoir, and spiritual books, the linen closet laden with sheets, blankets, and throws for all seasons. My art covers the walls and rugs adorn the floors. I am so not outa here.

After two moving sales, four trips to A Wider Circle, a massive Salvation Army pickup, a jaunt to the dump and boxes full of free giveaways to friends and neighbors… Haven’t I let go of enough already?


I gaze over at my altar to Mom and Quonyin, adorned with family photos, memorabilia from my travels, found objects from my Rock Creek walks, a vase of wilting flowers.


That’s the last thing I’ll take down, I resolve, a current of heat anger shooting through me.


There are seven other rooms over three floors!


Darling, get help, pleads my mom.


I throw off the covers and get up. I think I can, I know I can…Bare feet across pine floor, I march downstairs, past my office filled with files and my library room packed with three times more books. I’ve been at this process for six months already. I’m close. I have a system. I’m an organization development consultant for Goddess’ sake.


My shoulders ache. My head is dizzy with indecision. I stand at the door of the so-called ‘staging room’ strewn with boxes and bags and trunks and furniture, the chosen stuff to be organized, moved, and fitted into my 10 X 10 storage sunroom.


I cover my eyes: I can’t, really can’t.


I tell my coaching clients all the time: Anything worth doing in this world cannot be done alone. It’s time I listened.


I need help, I whisper.


Though I loathe asking, though I fear, most of all, the rejection that may come, everyone so busy, the dread if no one responds, I plop down at my computer and begin to compose my SOS. I think I can, I know I can. Do I have a choice?


As I press Send, there’s a moment of elation, elevation, my body a little lighter in the chair. No matter what the response, I’ve overcome Resistance just by asking.


This, I tell myself, exhaling a puff of air, is part of the transition – I’m not just moving, I’m EVOLVING!


Or so IS the plan.


Do the friends show? Do I make it out the door? Find out in my next post ==> https://www.seechangeconsulting.com/post/get-by-with-a-little-help-from-your-friends



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