Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.


I’m Going to Follow You Because You’re Happy!


I love the design aspect the writer of the message “Do Not Follow” took on this truck I was behind a bit yesterday. The writer tried to soften the message by starring it on either side AND the best part is the smiley face (complete with a nose!) underneath. Seeing that smiley face made me ponder and…
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Learning to Parallel-park (City Style) and Settling into the City

Moving to the big city has been more of an adjustment than I thought from working in the city for 1 1/2 years…but living is different than just working in the city! I’m learning how big my car is, and if it can fit in a parking spot. I tried one spot near my house, but it was a Mini Cooper sized spot, not a Prius spot. I have scratches on my car to prove it. Bummer… and I’m learning that it’s okay to give a neighboring car an accidental “friendly bump.”

Yesterday I went to get my driver’s license updated, but I didn’t have a bill with me, so I had to go back today. Thankfully, several bills arrived in the mail yesterday (and I got to meet my mail man!), so today I could change it. When I was in line to get my registration changed, I looked up and there was a parent of one of my students from last year! She had me come into her office, and then helped me get it changed (and gave me a hug at the end), and told me about lots of the stores near I live because she used to live right where I live. I am feeling welcome in the big city… It just takes some time and loving people…

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Learning How to Speed, Ahem, I Mean, Go With the Flow

Yes, I’m learning how to speed…I never thought I would say this. Isn’t speeding wrong? Well, yes, it is not wise, but there’s more to it just being right or wrong here.

Do you know how it is to be stuck behind that car that is going exactly 55mph on a two-lane high way where you have to wait to be able to pass safely? I used to be one of those slow-poke drivers.  Yes, I’ve driven people nuts behind me, but now I’m learning about compromise, flexibility, and going with the flow, and it is influencing my driving.


I’m not sure why it took me so long to learn how to compromise, but now I am. Fear drove me to drive the exact speed limit all the time; the sign said 35mph, so that is what I could do. I tried to follow the rules exactly.
My Mom had tried to explain to me, “It’s sometimes safer to speed and keep up with traffic rather than hold up traffic.” Back then, I wouldn’t have it. That was before I started commuting. Commuting can be sort of relaxing…but it takes so much time.
After going between 7-14 mph for an hour, then when you can choose your speed, you want to go fast! Now I can compromise here a bit.

Compromising in the areas of sexuality or morality wounds humans deeply, but knowing how to compromise with others about driving or cleaning or having friends over will help your relationships. Rules can protect and guide us, but knowing how to bend and flow with people helps them be able to be themselves and feel loved.

What changed? Learning that adults know principles and apply them in different ways to different situations helped. Reading the book, Teaching With Love and Logic, has helped my understanding of living from rules verses living from principles. There are never enough rules to feel safe or control all unknown variables, but there are principles that uphold why many things are done. People thrive more when principles are individually applied to certain situations verses cookie-cutter rules.

Compromising with roommates helped me learn to be flexible. I failed many times: I would rigidly want my way, not be open to options, and push hard. For example, at one place where I lived, we made an agreement we wouldn’t have guys stay over night. That standard made me feel safe, and it just was wise for a house-full of young ladies.
I didn’t want to consider that there were options! Then one day a friend wanted a married guy to be able to crash on our couch for the night. It scared me, so I stood by our rule and didn’t budge. Now I see her perspective way more…he was like a brother to her…I hurt our friendship because of my attitude…my friend did find a place for that guy to stay, but I got my way. With a cost.

I saw the “No guys staying over” as a rule that could only be kept or broken. Looking back, I see that if I followed the principle: “It’s not wise to have single guys stay the night.” I could have seen the difference and been okay with letting my housemate’s friend stay over.

Yes, some things are black and white, right and wrong; but being open to the shades of variation in life will make your life flow more smoothly. Yes, I speed a little at times now, but I’m caring more for the drivers around me instead of making us all frustrated by trying to follow the letter of the law. We’re on earth to love each other. Following a rule is wise, but understanding the principle that is underneath the rule is even wiser.


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Running for the train: Thoughts on Scraping By

Yesterday as I backed up to leave for work, my car was making way too much noise. I got out and found out that my car had a flat tire in the driveway, so I had to pull it on the street and run  3/4 of a mile for the train. I made it in about 7 min. with 3 minutes to spare.

Coming home, I caught the orange line to get to near Oglevie, and then I looked at my watch, it was 4:30 and I wanted the 4:35 train, and I took off galloping. I ran awhile, then got caught in the crowd, and once I got in the station, it was 4:35, and this guy in a red jacket booked it past me, so since he was doing it, I could too! I took off running behind him.

I saw that a train wasn’t leaving yet, but then I saw the conductor give the signal, get aboard, and I leaped on past him while he turned the lever to shut the doors.

I have never cut it that close– it was 2 seconds wiggle room. Whew, that wasn’t the safest thing to do, but I was glad to be on that train and be getting home to change my tire.

I had a sort-of Frodo moment, leaping past the conductor (who is jolly and nothing like the nasty creatures Frodo jumped past), and just making it.

It’s wonderful when we plan to have enough space and time to make a peaceful transition, but there’s many times when we just scrape by.

Knowing how to still be peaceful when you’re just scraping by is a skill that I’m learning. I want to be perfect and do things perfectly, but that is not possible. I’m learning to rest in the fact that you’re still loved even when you hit too many potholes and forget to check the air in your tires so one goes flat, and get late to work, and let the kids get under your skin, and you have to apologize, and then run for the train again and just make it. Yes, I was scraping by, but I’m loved, accepted, treasured, desired, thought well of, and good enough in God’s eyes. And scraping by adds a little spice to life…running for the train is sort of fun…sort of…

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