Dr. Rich Patterson

Transitions – II

As we make transitions in our life, it is essential to stay flexible yet focused, open yet with control of the steering wheel.  As you look at this Motocross rider performing with excellent execution, it seems as if it will be challenging to get in control of his bike.  Somehow with training and expertise, he gets back on and lands safely.  We often feel like we’re out of control in our own lives when we’ve met with an obstacle that will block us from our goal.  I am saying, take control of the steering wheel in your life anyway.

I have noticed that when I am working toward a goal and things seem to be developing nicely and I’m getting close, I see the most chaos.  Things seem to fall apart just before we’re close to achieving our goal. That is when we need to stay with it, not to give up.

Bad times can end up good after all.  When I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Iowa and looked for a job, things looked terrible.  I looked at many different scenarios knowing that I would have to transition to some career to earn money.  Some of the positions had nothing to do with my degree or were marginally related.  I looked at sales positions; I interviewed for various posts in many states, still nothing.  The job market was tight, and I was discouraged.  But that moment is when you must have perseverance in the tough times.

Bad times can end up good–but you must believe first; as I persisted in finding a position, I took a job playing my drums with a band and made a little extra money to help me through this time.  Right before the school year started, I went to an unlikely source to find something, anything.

I filled out the paperwork and submitted it, it was Labor Day Weekend, and in those days, schools were getting ready to start.  As I walked out, the clerk said, you might as well take this newsletter of listings because we’re going to mail it out after the holiday.  I looked it over, and there was a position.   My heart leaped as I tried to find this small town on the map.  I couldn’t find it (no computers in those days).  I picked up the phone and reached the Principal.  I told him of my interest, and he said, can you get here today?

t was then that I realized I would transition from years and years of being a student to having my first teaching position.  I interviewed and received the job, but all the anxiety started building.  Was I ready?  Did I study hard enough?  Can I do this?

I told myself what I am advising you here, “You must have perseverance in the tough times.”  Those times may not go like you want them to; you may end up somewhere completely different than what you planned or intended.  Keep going, be flexible because you can still get to where you’re going. I will continue this in Transitions III and hope that you will read that next.

Part III of this series on Transitions is here, Transitions – III – Dr. Rich Patterson (

The belief website has a post on 5 Life Transitions Everyone Goes Through, 5 Life Transitions Everyone Goes Through – Beliefnet.

Yours for Better Parenting,