“If a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.” Amor Towels, A Gentleman in Moscow
A new school. A new workplace. A new relationship. A new home. It matters not our age or life stage change is hard—even when we purposefully opt for the transition. However, for those of us who find ourselves adjusting to a new way of life that was not of our choosing it can be excruciatingly painful.
Our granddaughter moved with her parents to a new community where she started a new school. We spoke almost every day those first two weeks of fourth grade—her anguish, palpable. She was lost without her friends and the nurturing familiarity of her former school. One day she said, “Sugar, no one should ever have to go through this. This is terrible.”
Thankfully, as children often do, Ava rallied. Today, as a high school freshman, that once anxiety-filled child now flourishes. Not because her circumstances changed but because she refused to become their victim. At ten-years-old, Ava chose to become the master of her circumstance.
Over the past few years, I have watched friends retire from their life’s work; lose their soul mate; receive a grave diagnosis; and, due to health challenges, leave their homes to move to new cities to be near their adult children. Most have found themselves in foreign territory dealing with the loneliness and anger we all feel when faced with circumstances beyond our control. While we often can’t change where we find ourselves, we can choose how we move forward.
To flourish again we must rekindle our inner, resilient child. Let us not succumb, allowing circumstances to rob us our joy. Let us choose, instead, to become its master.