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Transition, Transition, Transition

Learning to Cope with Change of Plans

By Jim GavenPublished 2 years ago 3 min read

For the ‘typical’ person, it can sometimes be difficult to transition from one thing to another. This could mean transitioning from one activity to the next like Arts and Crafts to lunch time, one day to the next like Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, one month (IE: the next holiday, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter), one season (IE: Winter into Spring) or one year to the next (IE: turning a new age from 5-6 years old). We are creatures of habit, and as we all know, a daily routine is key to being the best version of ourselves. In essence, we set ourselves up for success by organizing and implementing a set of things to accomplish or do day after day. Maybe we do it in a particular order, or maybe it's just a set of activities done randomly. At any rate, we feel centered and like all is right in the world when they go as planned. The same thing goes for someone who has a developmental disability, and then some...

In my 10 years of being in the human services field, I’ve found that the more we prepare and make a plan for what we intend to do or hope to do next, the better off we are if something goes awry. Why? Because if we’re coming up with Plan A, we’ve at least thought about a Plan B and C as well. It's never a bad idea to have a back-up plan in case the initial plan doesn't come to fruition for whatever reason. Don't we know that there are a multitude of reasons why something doesn't happen the way we want it to or even happen at all. The key is being able to adapt to a situation in real-time if things don’t go as planned in a calm, cool, and collected way. One way of looking at it is that of a rehearsal. We are rehearsing in our minds what we want to happen, and practicing the art of recalculation, adjustment, and pivoting. If we are able to do this successfully, we not only keep the situation under control for ourselves, but for those around us as well. This is one way I’ve built trust with those I’ve had the pleasure of serving and supporting over the years. And, it is the main reason why I’ve created music related activities to not only practice rhythm, melody, and harmony, but to practice how to deal with seemingly out-of-control chaotic situations so that when they do occur, no one flies off the handle. Rather, the group or individual is able to take a deep breath, realize that ‘this too shall pass’ as most things are temporary in life, and then work their way through the difficult time with more ease and peace. I liken it to just being 'part of the process'.

Speaking of which, I have a course available on Udemy called, “Transitioning Between Rhythms and Tempos” which takes this idea of transitioning between activities and occasions in life and brings it to actual music making at a basic rhythmic level which can be found at:

Just like this post, before I end an in-person or virtual individual/group session, I like to give those I am serving and supporting a heads up so as to not be surprised by this activity not happening anymore. Something to the effect of ‘This is the last song before I say goodbye. Thank you for letting me spend time with you today. It’s been so much fun! Looking forward to the next time we see each other.’ I may even play a song that talks about saying 'goodbye' like Hit the Road Jack or See You Later Alligator. It’s phrases and songs like these which make people feel comfortable knowing that what we’re doing is about to end, and that’s OK. Now it's time to transition, transition, transition to whatever you are onto next in your day.


About the Creator

Jim Gaven

My mission is to write inspirational stories that make you feel good about yourself, put a smile on your face, and think of things in a different way.

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