Women Over 50—Transition Part III
We’ve now reached the third and final stage of the transitions process. (My last several posts have dealt with emotional states that an individual typically experiences when going through a major life change.)
Somewhere towards the end of the “pit stage,” the urge to look back, mourn your losses, and remain stuck in the past subsides. At this point, people begin putting the majority of their focus towards the future. They’re eager to move forward and chart a new course in life.
Although this is generally a positive time, filled with hope and anticipation, this period can also present some pitfalls along the way. Sometimes, people are so relieved to have put painful feelings behind them, that they can become overly eager and act impulsively.
If one is conducting job search, something might come along and she’s offered a position. Although her head is telling them to take it, reservations are lurking somewhere in the back of her mind. For such scenarios, it is always best to have created a list of seven or eight “must-haves” before mounting an active search. This provides a benchmark to measure how appropriate the job offer is and how well it will suit your individual goals and needs.
Finally, at the end of the transition process, an individual moves through to her next life stage and onto acceptance and understanding of the experience. Usually, she will gain a new perspective about herself, her strengths, her aspirations and needs, and her own life’s path.
Williams Bridges, author of the book, Transitions, defined the process: an ending followed by a period of distress and confusion leading to a new beginning. And Elisabeth Kübler Ross also wrote of transitions in her book, On Death and Dying. She identified similar transitional stages, which she called the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
So, when undergoing any major life transition, be it the loss of a job, being faced with a serious illness, or other events that have a significant impact on you, realize that there are certain predictable stages and certain emotional states that are a part of the process. Know also that you will come out on the other side having gained a greater knowledge of yourself and the strength of your own inner resources.
As Ben Stein, writer, TV personality, and actor said: “It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life. The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated…it is finished only when it surrenders.”