When does summer become fall? I think about this as I watch the season I love slowly slip away and autumn take her place.
There are some transitions that have a clear demarcation — you start a new job, receive a degree, get married, etc. But like in nature, other transitions happen through a slow evolution — your relationship becomes serious, your work on a project morphs into your whole job, or one day your anger becomes advocacy.
There are usually celebrations for the distinct transitions but those without a clear demarcation warrant acknowledgment, too. Even if we slide into something, it’s important to have a moment of recognition that we are entering a new phase.
For example, consider an independent contractor who accepts fewer gigs and one day finds themselves retired. There would be no gold watch or cake in the break room — their job calendar would just be blank, but their retirement is just as significant as someone who punches out for the final time.
Raise your consciousness of the gradual transitions you — and others in your circle — are making. When norms don’t lend themselves to a public affirmation of the change, be the one who notices it.