Monday, August 17, 2015

Punctuated Equilibrium, Changes and Almost a Year

I was a biology major. In college I was introduced to the concept of punctuated equilibrium, and it has stuck with me. Punctuated equilibrium and gradualism are both part of the evolutionary theory. Gradualism suggests that change occurred slowly over time. Punctuated equilibrium disagrees suggesting that the fossil record doesn't support gradualism. Rather, huge changes happened all at once and then everything settled down for a while.

I never taught biology after student teaching so may not have the theory exactly correct after all these years. Forgive me, but our lives have gone through some punctuation this year, and I could use a little equilibrium. I feel like the ground rumbled under my feet and a new landscape emerged. Because it did.
We planted this tree when we moved in 11 years ago.
It had a V but one part was broken in a storm. It's grown.
When I was in graduate school, I had a friend in a counseling program who was taking a class on change. A whole class. And he had books all about change: the nature of change, helping people with change and the effects of change. It seems many people have trouble finding the equilibrium or the "new normal." I'm not alone. Personally, I know I suck (I mean "grieve badly") at goodbyes especially when I don't know what lies ahead.

Let's recap. In the past year, one of our dogs passed away, we went to China to pick up my son, and we moved. All the while still doing the regular parts of life, like homeschooling, teaching and taking classes. There were doctors' appointments all over the county. Buying a house and selling a house. Packing all of our stuff and then unpacking (not really yet) all of our stuff. Doing homework until midnight. Grading and instructing. And we went back in time to diapers, nap time and strollers. Add in language acquisition, sleep issues and toddler tantrums. Leaving our home and neighborhood of 11 years. Settling into a new neighborhood. Travelling too. Rumble. Rumble.

Last time on the swing set

I've put on some weight. Actually, my son and I are pound for pound. His is catch up weight. Mine, not so much. It may be stress related. Last year at this time we were scrambling for flights and getting our ducks in a row to go. It's hard to believe it has almost been a year. It's been hard, but the good hard that stretches and grows you. Patience and perseverance isn't learned on the sofa with a bag of chips. I wish. My son has come so far. A friend was listening to him talk yesterday and understood him. Huge deal. His most used phrase is "I got it" because he thinks he can do everything himself. Everything. Two year old boy.
Everybody is tired. 
I am thankful that I can run again this year. Running with people like Bobbi, Kate, Carrie, Emily and Julie has been a saving grace. My ankle gets cranky, and I listen. I've already run two half marathons this season, Wisconsin and Grandma's. They are both great races, and I had good races. Win. Win. I did the Esprit de She Naperville Tri as well. I love that tri. It's fun and fancy. It was also my first time in the water at the race as well as the longest bike of the year. I'm training for the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon in Oct and finished the first of the really long runs this past weekend. I'm not as strong as I'd like to be, but things are different. And that's okay.

Miles, smiles and sole sisters.
School is starting. My husband is back. My classes to take start today. Half my brood are going to school this year, and they are starting the same time my classes to teach start. We are keeping it classy. We will be a mixed family: homeschool and public school. I hope both sides are kind as we ride the fence. They can get pretty polar. I think it is what is best for us right now.

Anyway, this is long. Sometimes bloggers talk about little changes in their lives day by day or week by week. This year I couldn't do it. I didn't have the time, and I didn't have it in me. I hope to get back to a balance where I am posting more often. If I don't, life is still in flux and the landscape is still changing. Did I mention we also started potty training today?