"How are you liking it here?"
This simple question can bring up a lot of emotions for a coach's wife, especially if she's recently moved.
The word home, to most, has a straightforward definition. It's where you choose to live, or it's where you're from. To the luckiest, it's both of those.
But for most of us coaches' wives, the term is complicated and often emotional. Depending on what stage of processing a transition she's in, "home" could be nowhere, or it could be more than one place.
When you're typical third in line (behind the Athletic Director and coach) to decide where your home is, new beginnings can be difficult. But frequent new beginnings are one of the only certainties in the sports industry. And for a new start to occur, it means something else has to end.
Whether it's a welcomed or heartbreaking ending, an expected or surprising one, they are typically difficult and delicate. However, I have learned that in order to do a "new beginning," well, you need to start with the end in mind.
In the past, I would do this, but with the wrong end. I focused on the end that brought about the new beginning. I focused on protecting and healing my heart after the last ending. But I've learned it will never fully get back to normal. The one thing that has consistently cauterized the wound and stopped the bleeding from a broken heart is moving forward.
I wouldn't have wasted days, months, and years at a new school if I could go back. But, instead, I was wallowing in my feelings, pushing back on where this coaching life took us. I've realized since that time that even though I might not have control over where I live and for how long, I can control how I feel about that place. I can control whether I dive in or hold back.
It's better to focus on the end that will eventually come from your new beginning.
Envisioning that end allows you to take the next steps that will create the life you actually want. And there's nothing wrong with small steps or slow starts. Small isn't bad. It is actually what makes the progress bearable. I started by focusing on the small things that I liked about our new home, and they eventually added up to a big thing.
Know that approaching a new beginning this way will only make the end even harder. But just like how bones repair after an injury, so do we. With every break, we rebuild, only leaving a few pieces behind.
If you haven't approached a transition this way, whether it's a new season, a new position, or a whole new school and town, there's always an opportunity to begin again, to begin better and stronger than last time. There's always time to embrace your new beginning.