The First One- My 5 Stages of Change

Writing is good for the soul, so I decided to start a blog. Some people craft (nope, but oh how I wish I had some crafting sense), or play a musical instrument (not this girl), or have artistic abilities to paint, collage, sculpt, or draw (I got a B- in high school art class, so, nope). I have words. So I use those. (I also bake-more on that later.) It feels good to gather all the random thoughts in my head throughout the day and craft them into some kind of meaningful idea to share. I love writing for the fact that it gives every person a voice; every person has something worthwhile to say. So this blog is for me. And it is for you, should you follow along with me. I had been thinking about starting a blog for a while, but seeing this today on Facebook sealed the deal for me (and plus Jen Hatmaker is one of my spirit animals):

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I’ll probably make mistakes bore you to death, but you can’t succeed at something you don’t try, right? So here we go:

My 5 Stages of Change

Anyone who knows me knows I am not great with change, but I do accept that change is inevitable. I feel like a whole lot is changing in our lives right this instant and I have basically given up any control over this crazy train. All in a span of 10 months (beginning with February and ending in November 2017), we will have: had a baby, transitioned into a 4-person family, given up my position (and income) as a 4th grade teacher, embarked on the journey of the stay-at-home-mom, put our first family home on the market, built a new house, and moved to a small town 45 minutes away from our closest friends to be closer to the hubby’s office. YIKES. Are we crazy?!

Normally, when faced with change, I go through 5 distinct stages. Here they are, broken down for you in all of their glory:

Stage 1: The “panic-and-run” stage

All you Disney Jr.-watching mama friends will get this (in fact, I think my 3 year old actually thinks that panic-and-run is a special species of striped, horse-like animals). When it comes to change, I usually panic at first. All the fear and doubts and questions flood over me until I feel super overwhelmed and want to curl up in a fetal position and watch a Harry Potter marathon for 24 straight hours.

Stage 2: The “oh no, why haven’t I done this all along/sooner?” stage

This is where the guilt settles in: if there’s a better way, why aren’t I already doing it? I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, which as you know is impossible, so it doesn’t feel great when things are in need of a change.

Stage 3: The “but the old way is way easier, why not stick with that?” stage

This is the complacency stage. The crossroads of: do I make the change or stick with the norm because it’s easier? Usually in this stage I try to blame someone or something for my lack of motivation to change, and I make great excuses about why changing wouldn’t be in my best interest. I have an uncanny ability to waste a massive amount of time in this stage.

Stage 4: The reflection stage

Here is where the magic happens. I start to see through the fog and into the possibilities. Ok, yes, this is a change, but how will it help me grow? How will this change make me a better __________ (insert teacher, mama, wife, friend, daughter, sister, person)? What benefits will I or others around me experience if this change is made?

Stage 5: The acceptance and hope stage

This is the final stage, when I eventually accept whatever change is happening and begin to not only become aware of, but also reap the benefits of said change.

So I *think* I’ve reached stage 5 with most all of the changes taking place now. I have decided that the benefits for us far outweigh the costs. Sure, we will be losing an income and a sense of community (until we can build a new one in our new town), but here’s what I’m most looking forward to:

Less distractions- I’m giving up all the decisions and worries and planning and grading and data analysis and testing (barf!) that come along with being a classroom teacher. Teaching is an all-encompassing job and it completely took over my life in not a good way. I was unable to find a healthy work/life balance. (More on this later- I still value education and respect the heck out of teachers, it’s just not right for me right now.) This way, I can be more present for my family.

Less stuff- I cannot WAIT to pack up our house and THROW STUFF AWAY, aka harness my inner Marie Kondo and keep only the things that bring me joy.

Less traffic- small town, less people, less cars, less rush.

More time- To meal plan, shop for, and cook healthy food. To spend with my family (the hubby will be home earlier by a whole hour!). To write. To read. To teach my own little humans. To play, to make messes, to bake. To sleep? Maybe? One can hope.

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Most of all, I look forward to making our new home comfortable and homey and ours. A place where my children will grow and play. Where they’ll discover their own passions and curiosity and creativity. Where they will experience all the joys and heartbreaks of childhood and adolescence, making mistakes that teach valuable lessons and experiencing failure that make their success so much sweeter. Where they’ll feel loved and accepted and *most of the time* enjoy a home cooked meal (although please let there be a Chick Fil A nearby, because, reality).

Even though I’m so looking forward to the next few months, I still have to slow down and remember to live in the present and soak it all in. For those who have stuck with me this far, here is a little glimpse into my daily life right now:

Currently Reading: Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load by Jen Hatmaker, because who doesn’t want to start the morning off with a laugh, a healthy dose of reality, and some Jesus? Also, The Magnolia Journal, issue 2, because Chip and Joanna Gaines are #lifegoals. Not only can they run a farm, bake, remodel houses with the absolute best style, and raise amazing children, but they can write too? Who ARE these people? Seriously, get a copy of this NOW. It will change your life.

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Currently Baking: Danielle Walker’s Grain-Free “Oatmeal” Raisin Cookies (recipe here). These are so easy a toddler can help and super delicious.

Currently Singing:  “How Far I’ll Go”- yes, from the Moana soundtrack. We are a house obsessed with Moana and I find this an apt song for our upcoming new adventures. Plus, Moana is seriously the best princess movie since Beauty and the Beast (the animated one duh!)

Thanks for reading and until next time, peace and love from my household to yours.

11 thoughts on “The First One- My 5 Stages of Change

  1. Beautifully expressed! What a great journey awaits! I loved staying home with my kids….still my favorite part of life! Your stages are totally relatable….I may have similar ones 😉 Keep us posted!!!

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  2. Loved reading this Katie and already looking forward to readying more:). Thanks for sharing- crazy how time has flown over the last 25 years!:)

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  3. Loved reading this Katie! Looking forward to reading more:). So happy to see you enjoying loving life and family and Jesus- 25 years have gone by and it’s so fun to see where God has guided you:). Keep writing- you’re so gifted at it!

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