I sat on the beach today and watched the waves constantly moving…moving forward…breaking waves…some came slowly…some came crashing…and then as the afternoon wore on, the waves came creeping closer and inched up to where I was sitting…I moved back…moved back so the waves of change could not reach me.

Waves of change, I thought to myself, waves of change. That’s what I feel like my life is like lately, waves of change. And with those waves come waves of emotions. (some perimenopausal emotions I’m sure…especially with all the hormonal changes going on in my body…yes…I haven’t gotten my period in almost four months…soon I will have to drop the peri and just be pausal.)

Some of my waves of change have been happy ones…like when my son graduated from high school…when my daughter graduated from college…when I bought my beach house…when I found a contractor to help me take care of my big primary home…especially to take care of the chipping paint on the trim of my house (yes, I was very happy when he applied a new material that he said would last forever and never have to be repainted…smiles abounded at the word ‘forever’)…and when I potted some new plants and they actually took root…that was a pleasing sight for my very sore green thumb.

I like the happy waves of change…they seem to come more slowly…I can manage the happy waves of change…it is the ones that come crashing…the ones that come on fast…the ones that I don’t like dealing with because they upset me…and bring out scary or sad emotions. I don’t like scary or sad waves of change. But, lately I’ve had to face them. And when I face them I have to deal with them. Yes, the crashing waves I’ve been running away from for the past six months since my husband’s passing…I finally had to face them.

And so I did the other day. I faced a crashing wave. I packed up my husband’s closet full of clothes. I packed his 22 shirts (I kept the blue stripped one that I loved to see him wear…could not part with that one) and I packed his 18 pairs of pants. I packed his two suits…the black one and the blue one…and I packed his tees too (not any of his Yankee baseball or Giants football tees…those will be saved for future playoff games and Superbowl wins). I packed his tan brown jacket. The jacket he wore the day he met me almost 25 years ago. And I gave them all to Purple Heart…so someone less fortunate can benefit from these clothes.

Now his closet is empty…now his smell will fade…and I will have to adapt to this major crashing wave.

When I was a young child I loved the crashing waves…”bring them on” was my motto…I can jump higher…I can jump over the waves…and I almost always did…very rarely did I let them hit me…and if I knew that I couldn’t jump high enough then I would squat down and let the wave fly over me.

Now that I am 50…now that I am older and wiser…I realize I must face the crashing waves straight on…no more jumping over or under…no, now I have to face them as they come…the big waves and the small ones…and Lord knows there have been many waves of change in my life to date and there will be many more waves to come.

And while I wish the crashing waves of change would slow down a bit…it’s likely that the opposite will happen…that the waves of change will speed up…really speed up this year and next…oh, how will I manage these major waves of change in my life

– as I send my youngest child off to college
– as I send my oldest child off to her first job
– as I ponder what to do with my big beautiful blue ranch house and the bamboo that is growing up around it
– as I try to manage my finances with my new financial advisor
– as I navigate widowhood and being alone but not lonely
– as I grow into the new me…the new 50-something me, ready to take on the exciting second half of my life

I don’t know what the future waves of change will bring…but I do know…like it or not…I will hit them straight on…my 50 year old knees aren’t strong enough any more to jump over these crashing waves. And if I try to kneel down under the waves I will lose my prescription sunglasses and I really need these glasses so I can see the waves in front of me.

Yes…I will have to hit these waves of change straight on…straight on…and hope for the best.