How to Cope (and Thrive) When Big Change is on the Way

Based on my handy-dandy planner (thanks, hubby!), I have just calculated that I only have TEN weeks of nannying left.

TEN WEEKS?! That’s nothing! That’s the gestation period of an ant! Okay, I don’t know that for a fact, but bear with me.

Tomorrow is also the kickoff of my final ten weeks of my undergraduate degree – I’m set to graduate on March 17th. WOAH. Woah woah woah. Where’s the pause button? What happened to grade school where every day felt like 14 years? How can I possibly be this close to the end of my college job and education?

Tons of my friends are in the same boat, either starting their last semester of school or moving on to new things (student teaching, studying abroad, etc.).

So, here’s my question: How can we all enjoy our last weeks when we’re simultaneously rearing to “be done,” but also nostalgically emotional and terrified about things ending? (And let me be clear here: as a 27-week-pregnant human being, I am having ALL of these feels, plus about eight thousand more, all piled onto the heartburn of a 90-year-old man).

Let me share a few things I plan on doing during my last 10 weeks of work and school:

  • Put a checkmark next to every single day you accomplish. Whether you use a calendar, a planner, or one of those sweet paper chain thingies, give yourself the satisfaction of saying, “Cool. One more day down. And look! I lived through it!” If you’re anxious to get to the end, this will make you feel like you’re moving forward. If you’re nervous about missing out on your last few weeks, this will help you to be more mindful about the inevitable passage of time.
  • Give yourself activities to look forward to. Be it weekly coffee with loved ones, a Nick Offerman event, or a weekend of Harry Potter movies and butterbeer, simply looking ahead provides a much-needed sense of excitement. Plus, who needs an excuse to have fun times with friends? Nobody. Life’s too short.
  • Let yourself be nostalgic. I can already say that I’m getting emotional about coming to the end of my “nanny mommy” days (and swiftly moving into the simply “mommy” phase!). Many of my friends are starting to feel the same way about leaving their colleges or hometowns. But, you know what? Nostalgia serves a purpose, and that purpose is to remind us of the good times we’ve had. Just remember – there are more ahead! Make a scrapbook or one of these to help you commemorate your wonderful memories.
  • Make a playlist. Even better, give it a funny name. Mine? “The Final Push.” See what I did there? My playlist includes every feel-good song in my iTunes library, from the Jackson 5’s ABC to Yonce’s Love on Top. I’ve already listened to it this morning while nannying (don’t worry, it’s all appropriate!), and it’s done wonders for my morale. Consider this the “soundtrack to your life” for these last few weeks. And can we all just do ourselves a favor and leave Bon Iver out of it? Ain’t nobody got time for that many feels.
  • Get excited about what’s ahead! Just like nostalgia is all about the past, excitement should be all about the future. Give yourself a few minutes every day to simply be excited about all the opportunities and changes you’ll be facing. Throw caution to the wind – sure, it’s scary – but it’s also crazy thrilling! Some specific ideas? Start a journal and write about all the different things you want to do. Envision how the future will be bright, and guess what? It will be. You’ve got more power than you think you do.

Do you have any additions to my list? Comment and let me know how you cope when things in your life come to an end (jobs, school, kids moving out, etc.). And don’t forget (because every blog post needs a good cliché):

Every ending is a new beginning.

Have a wonderful week!

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