I’ve spent most of my coach’s wife life focusing on the wrong stage of transitions—the one I wasn't in.
While we were stable, I treated it like the end. I was always prepping to leave, even without any hint or indication of change. I was always thinking about what I could do to the house to help it sell quickly if the call came.
During the “in between,” I was always rushing through to the next place, the new beginning, wanting to feel settled and stable.
And once the "new beginning" actually began, I obsessed over the past, wanting to go back to what was.
I don’t regret much, mostly because I believe everything gets divinely worked out for a purpose.
But if there was one thing I wish I had known when I was first starting out in this industry, it would be that each stage has a purpose and each one needs to be worked through. That way, I would not have wasted them, but instead would have gotten the most out of each.
Sometimes, the end comes because there’s a new job. It’s expected and planned for, thought through, debated, and settled on, by us.
But sometimes, it comes after someone else’s decision.
The head coach takes a new job or gets fired. There’s a new athletic director that takes over and wants to “go in a different direction.” It’s unexpected and unforeseen. It’s a surprise and not welcomed.
Either way, endings are hard. As coaches' wives, we have to know that for something new to start, something else has to end.
For coach to move up the ranks or to learn from someone different, that means the end is guaranteed. We might not know when, but it is always a given.
I’ve learned the only way to survive the ending is to trust that it was Divinely orchestrated. He is closing that door because He has a better one that He’s in the process of unlocking for you.
The In Between
We know all too well that dreaded “in between” phase.
It’s a part of every move, every transition. You no longer feel like you’re a part of the old community, but you also haven’t been able to get out into the new one to put down your roots.
It’s my least favorite part. I have a tendency to want to rush through it. It can be short or it can seem to drag on forever. But, we all go through it.
It’s uncomfortable and challenging, to say the least. I’d preoccupy myself with the “to do” list or the nostalgia of memories. I wouldn’t slow down enough to process the past or to think how I would do this next “start over” differently.
I’ve learned over the course of multiple transitions that a pause is needed. I had to come to terms with what was and the lesson learned. I’ve gotten better at every move because I’ve taken the time to see what I handled well, what I handled not-so-well, and what I needed to do differently the next time.
The New Beginning
Beginnings are exhausting—all the unpacking and getting settled in the new area, meeting all the new people, starting all over again.
I have always found it frustrating to not get to where I want to be, with new friends, with the new house, in the new community, immediately.
I also fall victim to always comparing my brand new beginning to the well developed ending that just occurred. I’ve learned that I need to be patient and realistic. It takes time to get where I would like to be, usually years. I have to remind myself that just because I liked where we were doesn’t mean I won’t love the new place. Just because where we were was good doesn’t mean the new one can’t be great.
I can admit that I still hate transitions. They are extremely hard, even ones that were worked for, planned for, and are ultimately positive.
Letting go can be tough. It is even harder to wait. Starting over feels impossible. But if you don’t go through each stage, you’ll miss out on the beauty of transitions. The beauty that comes from your growth and betterment. But to get it, you have to move through each intentionally.