What happens when your constants disappear?

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It's common to believe that certain things will remain constant in your life. But after years of living in a city, it is possible to suddenly stand on a street corner devoid of familiar landmarks and quite literally wonder where you are. Gone might be Grandma’s old home, the high-rise where you worked your first job, the pub where you celebrated your twenty-first birthday, the corner bistro with the friendly waiter and the best sticky ribs. Places come laden with memories, with traditions, with routine. It is a shock to learn they can disappear.

Disaster brings change at a pace you are unprepared for. Too much change coming too fast can make you feel brittle and untethered. Disasters can dissolve the everyday ordinary and test your assumptions about yourself and your life. You can be shaken to your core. This is confronting, but normal. As hard as it is, this can be the first step in charting your course to a more examined and intentional life—a process that will take time.

All our lives are based on unconscious assumptions. Disaster can call these assumptions into question. These truths might look like; "I’m a giver of help, not someone who needs it", or " If I work hard and follow the rules calamity won’t come my way”.

We all have assumptions about where our lives are heading. With disaster, that trajectory can abruptly change.

We have sat with people who had raised their children in a home infused with memories, expecting to retire and grow old in that comfortable familiarity. Expecting to stay and bear witness to the daily ebbs and flows of their long-known community. Disaster has taken away this away and they now have to move. They ask us, “What will my life be now?”

These questions bring both pain and possibility. Below (and more in the Cards for Calamity) are some tips from us for when you find yourself asking these kinds of big questions.

 Tips:

·       Question yourself but be okay with not having the answers yet.

·       Know that feeling untethered is normal—it's often the first step to a more examined and intentional life. This takes time.

·       It may help to acknowledge that alongside pain, disruption can bring insight.

©McNaughton & Wills Ltd 201