The Cook Awakening

Changing Identity

August 18, 2019
Posted in: Grief, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Life on Life's Terms, Living with Health Challenges

My family just arrived back from a 2400 mile road trip down through California to visit dear friends and family from the north to the south of the state. And, we swung through Yosemite on our way home, just for fun.

Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park.

I used to identify as someone who LOVED road trips. I traveled solo from California to Colorado more than once. From California to Wisconsin with my ex-husband. I made it from California to New York in 2 days with a crazy group of roommates once, driving straight through. (Something, by the way, I do not recommend. I’m grateful to be alive.)

Youth is a time of natural resilience. It’s one of the reasons that many chronic illnesses aren’t diagnosed until a bit later in life. The signs might be there, but the fact of being young often makes it possible to miss them.

I’m not young anymore. Being in my later 50s brings a number of differences in my capacity to manage a changing environment. Different beds every few days. Hours in the confined space of the car. No routines to rest into. I end up grumpy, overwhelmed… and my body hurts.

You may be younger than I, and not relating to this easily. You may be younger with some health challenges and wondering why you didn’t get the blessing of the resiliency I’m referring to. Even if road trips were or are not a part of your reality, there are other ways that resilience and loss of resilience show up — the ability to stay up late and not suffer unduly the next day at work, the ability to eat foods that don’t work well for your body and recover fairly easily, the ability to drink alcohol — at all.

The point I want to make is that things change. We change. It’s the better part of wisdom to acknowledge and embrace that, to the best of our ability. That may take a bit of time, and you may experience grief as a part of that process. I’m feeling some of that.

I’m not giving up traveling. But, I am realizing that travel will need to look differently for me in the future. Perhaps that means shorter trips, or trips to one place with a longer stay. I’m fantasizing about renting a camper van, so at least I can have one bed I crawl into every night. Perhaps it’s about flying more rather than driving. It’s all still in brainstorm stage, what the change looks like.

The important piece is accepting that our capacity is different than it used to be. Then, we have the option to re-envision and move forward. If we keep trying to force something to work because it used to be “fine”, or if we get stuck in resistance to the truth of that change however that shows up (anger, sadness), it’s hard to find a way forward.

Is there something in your life that’s changed that you’re having a hard time adjusting to and accepting? I’d love to hear!

Sovereign Self, a women’s meditation and Deep Communication Circle™ begins in September! One in person meeting and one virtual meeting per month. Read more about that here.

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 18th, 2019 at 10:10 pm and is filed under Grief, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Life on Life's Terms, Living with Health Challenges. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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