Recently I posted about new beginnings and how you can have a new start any time you choose. There are, however, two times you can’t choose, the day of your death and, equally the day of your birth. This has been reinforced to me with the birth of our new grandchild. As I have been observing this whole process, several things hit me anew.
First, in many cases, the moments preceeding and following change are generally uncomfortable and are worse than we want. There are a number of individual reasons that go into this, but I think there are a few universal truths that impact this as well, such as us needing to be uncomfortable in order for us to make a change, and our discomfort as we learn about our new normal. Only in video games do we get a handbook or guide to walk us through the initial stages of a new, unfamiliar experience. In real life we tend to have to rely on a more experiential learning until we can figure out enough to learn from others.
Second, the experiences of the past in many cases prepare us for just the beginning of the new phase. Although we have learned things to help us adapt and cope with the day to day, in many cases, particularly with regard to birth and death, the changes are so radical as to be unfathomable to us. Watching Estlin begin her new life outside the womb, I was struck by how overwhelming the new sights, sounds and smells were to her and was amazed at how her instincts only prepared her for the basics of existing.
Third, many times the people you encounter are trying to help. Maybe the help is not the best, nor all that beneficial, but their heart is fixed on helping rather than hindering…even when it seems a hindrance to us. Estlin frustration with being cold is offset by the fact that, despite her wishes, she needed a diaper change. We could and probably should take a lesson from this and give people the benefit of the doubt as they try to help.
New beginnings are both exciting and a little bit scary. We have all gone through the first big one and we can’t avoid the last one, but we can embrace the next one we choose. Have a great day and see you tomorrow.