Change Comes – Ready or Not

This has been a year of change for me.

My job has changed; not my job in fitness but my main job, my job as mother.

Last August, our middle child and only daughter, headed off to college and joined her older brother at Baylor. While we were thrilled for her, it’s been a huge adjustment for her mama.

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My daughter has been the only one of my children who wants to go with me when I run errands.

I struggled when our oldest left for college. It was hard to let him go, and then, just as I’ve adjusted well with his absence, the next one leaves. This go around has been especially tough since she is a girl. I grew up in a family of three girls. I need girl time to function as a happy human. Having a daughter in the house has kept me sane in our boy-heavy home. Do not get me wrong. I love having sons. They are awesome, but just when I don’t think I can handle yet another conversation about sports or cars, my daughter will walk in and the balance in my universe is restored.

Her leaving has changed a lot of things for us. For the first time in 19 years, we only have one child at home. This is weird. It’s weird cooking for three. The reduction in laundry is weird. Oh, and I’m back to talking about sports and cars. All. The. Time. I guarantee you I know more about the NBA than most 47-year-old women.

It’s been a little lonely, too. My daughter has been the only one of my children who wants to go with me when I run errands. My weekend errands were actually fun because we would often get Starbucks and a pedicure while in the middle of my mundane errands. She’s the only one who will watch “The Bachelor” with me (don’t judge us), and she’s the only member of the family who acts as my personal stylist. My style confidence has taken quite a hit now that my consultant is out of the house.

Another adjustment has been the loss of varsity sports. We have had a child in varsity sports since 2007 when our oldest son was a freshman in high school. We’ve gotten to watch our children compete at State in cross country (two times), track (two times), and basketball. What a ride! Let me just tell you, it’s a big change going from varsity sports back to middle school sports. A big change. Of course, we realize in a few short years, our youngest will be playing varsity sports, but for now, it’s weird.

Life is different. My role of mom is changing. When the main job you’ve had for 22 years begins to change, life feels a little unstable. You begin to ask questions and wonder what your future will look like.

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Our lives change. Our roles change. Our bodies change. Change will happen.

What does any of this have to do with fitness? Not a lot but a little. Like other times of change in my life, fitness has been my companion and friend through the changes and adjustments. Exercise has helped to keep me upbeat, emotionally level, and sane. Well, Jesus and exercise. Well, OK, Jesus, exercise, my husband, family and great girlfriends. But exercise has been crucial. It always clears my head and makes me feel better.

Our lives change. Our roles change. Our bodies change. Change will happen. It’s hard to prepare yourself for it. When it hits and you’re feeling a little blue, call a friend, pray, and head out for a run or go to a fitness class. You’ll be glad you did and you’ll feel better able to face these changes, and for me, better able to handle yet another conversation about the NBA.

Author: Susan Bell

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