Life’s Big Changes: How to Cope


Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” ~Karen Kaiser Clark

It’s inevitable. Change happens. It can be a bright light shining into your future or feel pretty darn uncomfortable. Sometimes, it is painful, and once in a while, life changing, like an epiphany. Change can also be transformational. I’m not talking Cinderella ball peeps but in the little things. There are those days I wake up energized, and as I’m chugging back that first cup of morning beans (extra strong please), I realize that I am not the same “me” I was yesterday. Sometimes, I’m not even the same person I was ten minutes ago. Am I becoming a better version of myself? I think so. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. I love being able to change myself to the better side of me – a more mindful me. But change is still scary.

In general, I think we all like good changes; the little ones appreciated, the significant changes celebrated. As to the other kind of changes, we tend to dislike them and wish them away. It’s the irritation we feel when things don’t go our way – traffic, disappointment, etc. As humans, we are attached to very specific expectations, to certain ways of feeling and being, and to those we love the most. It is this last one, the people factor, that can be a source of our most pleasurable moments, but also a source of fear. And here’s where I get freaked out.

Some changes are tremendous. One of the most important happened two years ago as my eldest left for college several states and a time zone away. It was life changing. He didn’t need me now, but I needed him. I am his mother, and it’s my job to look after him, to worry, to share the little joys of my boy’s life. But, he packed up all his things, loaded the van and drove off with his dad to the next chapter of his incredible life. Me, I’m still adjusting.

Now, I can step back and see both the positive and negative aspects of this change. I am so happy to see my brilliant, beautiful boy living his life. But, it’s painful being relegated to a secondary space in his life. It hurts not to be there more often to share those silly laughs, the big hugs, and just to be his mom, parenting him the best way I know how.

Growing up is hard to do, especially as an adult, lol.

It seems that I have spent most of my lifetime just being Mom. The change of becoming two adults, a far-away mother and grown up son, has taken me some time. And now, the process repeats itself as my middle son heads off to college in the fall. Changes take time, but I know, everything all in good time, at the right time. But I have attachment issues.

I’ve formed some deep attachments in my life, and they cause both pleasure and pain. I’m trying to learn to practice non-attachment. I know that nothing is permanent, and so I must be grateful and appreciate every moment I have this summer with my boy. It will help me through the difficult days when I’m missing them both, and they are several states away, in opposite directions as well. I know that with patience comes acceptance, even for a mom, and that I can find my happy, content place.

When all the big changes in my life start building up, becoming uncomfortable, I ask myself these questions to keep myself balanced.

Can I see this shift as an opportunity? Is there something of value in this shift? What opportunity did I find that I can adjust or adapt to change my life, to even change myself?

 How can I use this move to change myself?  What am I thinking, feeling? How can these thoughts, words and actions can allow me to accept this change? How do I think I will I change?

 Can I accept this change and just mindfully exist until I am ready to make a change? Sometimes changes are so unexpected and uncontrollable, that we must dredge up some courage just to exist and “be.” And that’s OK. Because this will change too. Because everything changes. It’s inevitable.

Am I ready for this next change? I don’t know. I love having all my kids home, the memories building and the laughter and hugs flowing freely. But, I am aware that they need to spread their wings and fly, and my job is to step back. I will always be there to catch them, but I will miss them too. After all, I’m a mom; it’s my job. But changes happen, good or bad, and when they do, I’m going to use them to my benefit. I’m going to concentrate on those little questions. It might take me a little bit of time to answer them. And that’s OK.

Stay motivated and caffeinated!😉☕





  1. Thank you, Helene. I needed this more than you can know right now. Your post was an “unexpected gift.” Pinned & shared.

    • You’re welcome. It helps to know that everyone goes through big changes, and even the ones that seem to be most difficult are not insurmountable. Namaste and thank you Linda Lee

  2. This post helped me too, Helene. A good reminder that even though we’re all just cogs in the machine of life, it’s still difficult to keep up with the pace. We can learn better methods to accept those changes, both good and bad. Even a positive change can be quite an adjustment sometimes, and knowing you’re not alone is a great help. ♥

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