A Scary Trapeze

I am beginning to realize that I’m swinging on a trapeze. Back and forth. Back and forth. For months now, I have been pondering what to do with my interest in Emergency Medical Services. Should I continue to be a National Ski Patroller? Should I bother to transfer my EMT-Basic certification to New Mexico? Should I sign up for the on-line Paramedic course? Pros and cons. Pros and cons.

I’m starting to feel like a broken record. It wouldn’t surprise me if family and friends are tired of hearing me blather on and on about my ponderings. Usually talking things out with someone helps me to clarify things and makes decision-making easier. This time, it seems I just go back and forth, back and forth.

It seems to make so much sense. I need to quit ski patrol—the distance and physical toll skiing at high altitude takes means this activity has waning interest. I need to quit fighting the unreasonable demands and bureaucracy of New Mexico and transfer my EMT-B certification. I need to just sign-up for that on-line class. It is time to quit talking about things and move forward.


Here I am, still swinging back and forth, back and forth.

In the past few days I have read the same information in widely different books. This information, based on studies by William Bridges, has led to an “a-ha” moment. THIS is why it feels like I’m stuck, swinging back and forth, unable to move forward based on decisions made.

Let me explain…

According to Mr. Bridges, change is what happens outside of us. Transition is the internal adjustments we make as change occurs. He suggests that there are 3 phases to making successful transitions: (1) Letting Go of past identity which includes acknowledging loss and endings. (2) The Neutral Zone where the old way is finished but the new identity is not yet clear. And (3) New Beginning which starts when we commit to new values, attitudes, and a new identity.

He pictures these three phases of transition as being similar to swinging on a trapeze. In the first phase we swing back and forth. In the second phase, we let go of the trapeze and spin, flipping and twisting, as we reach toward the new identity. And phase three is like catching on to the new trapeze.

Now I have a mental picture to better understand what is going on for me. I am stuck swinging back and forth on the old trapeze. This picture helps me put decisions into action. Yes, it is scary. Yes, it is risky to let go and risky to flip and spin and I move forward. But, I need to trust that there really is a new trapeze out there, ready for me to eventually grab.

So…I am relishing this weekend of being an instructor for ski patrol training activities. It is a final hurrah before letting go. I’m headed to the post office later today to mail in the paperwork and transfer my EMT-B certification here to New Mexico. And I am going to sign up for that on-line course next week.

check out Eddie Cantor’s The Man on the Flying Trapeze with Classic Circus Posters

check out Popeye’s cartoon of this song

I don’t know how good I am at flying through the air…certainly it isn’t being done with the greatest of ease!

Wish me luck!