Change is not something most people deal with well. It can however, be a great teacher inspiring you to grow in positive ways. Catch me on The Today Show this Friday (3/15/13) at 10a ET sharing my personal story of dealing with big change, in this case the 3 month premature birth of my son Mercer while on vacation.
Often we think we the best way to cope with massive change is to go BIG in our adjustments. Not true. As I found out and as evidenced by a new book, Tweak It by work-life fit expert Cali Yost, small tweaks are the secret to dealing with big change.
My husband Craig and I were shocked by the early birth of our son. We were completely unprepared for his arrival at the 28th week of my otherwise very smooth and healthy pregnancy. We were on vacation, in a city we didn’t know. It was a lot to take in. Luckily we had the support of family, friends and experts like Cali Yost (in photo at left). Cali had been a frequent guest on my radio show and over the years became my go-to person for dealing with work-life issues. After my family, Cali was the first person I called to deal with this situation in a healthy and productive way. (Read Cali’s advice in my post “When Life Throws You a Curve Ball“).
Inspired by that conversation and by the sage insights of my StayAdventurous.com founder husband Craig, we realized we had to get used to a new normal and then tweak back to the life we knew. Here are the tweaks we made:
- Career tweaks – We both chose to go back to work part-time but do it remotely. I went back to hosting my SiriusXM radio show two weeks after Mercer was born and while this surprised some, it was the right move for me. Planning, preparing and delivering my show took 4-5 hours per week but that time was a welcome respite from the challenges of being the parent of a micro-preemie.
- Wellness tweaks – We stayed in a hotel next to the hospital for the 61 days our son was in the NICU. Though we could have saved some money and gone with a standard room, we upgraded to an efficiency with a kitchen. It was important to us that we eat healthy during this time to have the strength and emotional wellbeing to be there for our son every step of the way.
- Peace of mind tweaks – Having purchased a small angel figurine a few months earlier, I could think of nothing better to put in Mercer’s incubator. It was my way of watching over him when I couldn’t be there in person. Though the hospital staff were wonderful, having that little angel there withMercer at all times, helped me focus on love and the possibility of miracles. Thankfully that is what we got. As I write this, Mercer is a happy, healthy 2 year old! We celebrated his birthday at Disney coincidentally on the very same day I received the call that the Today Show wanted to fly me to NYC to tell his story. (Listen to my latest podcast for more on Career Coincidences).
Now I not only believe in miracles, I get to see one everyday in Mercer. My hope is that this Friday’s Today Show segment inspires people who themselves are going through big changes to make the small but essential tweaks that will not only help them survive but thrive too. Tune in Friday (3/15/13) at 10am ET to NBC’s Today Show with Kathie Lee, Hoda, Cali and me!
While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about. ~Angela Schwindt