I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions. Life transitions. Some of my friends are going through major ones in their lives right now.
I have friends that have ended long relationships, friends dealing with divorce, friends dealing with loss of friendships, all the way to the other side of the spectrum where friends are welcoming new babies, new jobs, and new homes.
I was emailing one of my friends and relayed to her that life transitions remind me of PowerPoint transitions. You know, good old PowerPoint. That ever so user-friendly, not so much used anymore, presentation tool we have come to both loathe and love.
Transitions are the things that happen in between slides. Just as in life, transitions are the thoughts and actions that get us to the next part of our story, the next slide.
I opened up PowerPoint on my Mac, literally for the first time in years, and looked at the many, many choices.
The Cut for instance – quick and easy. Nothing much to this one. One slide one moment, another the next. Blink, and you won’t even notice.
Checkerboard is a wild one. It not only cuts up the pieces of the slide to get to the next one, they flip and turn, a very intense and dramatic graphic.
Ripple – blurry becoming clear. Vortex and Shred – my GOSH! They look just like they sound, blatant ripping and colors changing and a million pieces scattered everywhere.
And then pretty ones, like Flip or Switch. Just like they sound. Not too much going on. Again, a change for sure, but neat and happy, no drama, if you will.
Life transitions follow these styles. Some of them are fantastic. They may change our view, they may flip us around or switch us to a new understanding, but the transitions are fun, like a ride at a carnival, exciting and thrilling.
And some of them are MESSY. They rip us to pieces, they take things out of focus. One day your content, your story, your life is perfect. Bullet points, images, colors, everything fits right on the page. But along comes a transition and life is turned upside down.
The good thing about transitions is that they don’t last. You eventually get to the next slide. The pretty content. Things always go from blurry to clear. In PowerPoint, you can even set the duration of those transitions. Wouldn’t that be a nice feature in daily life?
But to everyone going through a transition right now. To everyone trying desperately to get to that next slide, remember this…
Those transitions in PowerPoint do serve a purpose, and life transitions are important tools, as well. They make us stronger. They show us that no matter how dark our life may seem, there will always be a clearer day, a clearer slide ahead. Whether you find that new strength in faith, family, friends, or even an unlikely source, you will find it.
Those transitions teach us how to write the content for the rest of our slides. They give us perspective, they hurt us, they help us, they make us grow, they make us change, they give us chances, they take those chances away, they bring people in and out of our lives, they create our presentation.
No matter what you are going through in your life right now, I hope today you smile reading this silly analogy. I hope today is a little easier, a little brighter. I hope today is one day closer to your new slide. I believe in you and I feel for you.