Roll with it

How do you handle big changes?


I’ve had some doozies in the last 5 or so years.  My quick answer would be to say I roll with it, because I do.  Any other option is just torturing yourself, right?  Resist all you like with mule braying & pouting, or better yet with minute planning & exacting details (laugh & laugh & laugh), but things change anyway.

When I roll, I put myself to work.  If I’m not careful I’m a bit of a hurricane, but usually its a storm of intentions all put in motion to get it all done.   A big out-of-state move? Donate, sort, pack, clean, pull up roots, set down new ones.  Job loss, career change?  Learn a whole shiny new thing with all my heart, all of it; like hosting my own website, like WordPress, like blogging.  How about big plans that fall apart?  Or the bittersweet, like selling a house you loved?  And joyful big changes like taking a cool vacation or crushing 26.2 miles in a marathon you trained for months for or even birthdays where your little ones are less & less so little or, gasp, a new baby?  Its exhausting, mostly good, work & I dive head long into it.

And then, for me, the storm settles & I find there is still so much to adjust to, so much so that I can be left overwhelmed.  I may find a minute alone & weep because sometimes I’m a big baby, though I’m always a sap.  Its permission to myself to go ahead & grieve the change, even the sweetest ones.  Then take that deep breath, dry my eyes & survey the landscape of this newest new beginning.  I have a long beautiful history with journaling that lets me spill my guts & when I’ve emptied my heart there I turn to my camera to regroup.  Thank God for the camera.  When I am the most abuzz, sometimes my hands even shaking with it, I quietly pick up my tool & let it help me focus.  I suppose its meditative.  Zeroes things down for me by 20 notches.  Quiets me.  Instead of feeling crowded out by own thoughts I think about light & exposure, about this moment, about right now.

We made another big move within the very big state of Pennsylvania last Fall.  When it was all said & done we flattened & stacked all the cardboard boxes, hoisted them up into the attic & started figuring out how to live in this new house we’re calling home, for now.  My husband landed his dream job & it plopped us square in the middle of Bucks County.  We’re in the exploratory phase where everyday we’re basically tourists.  All the woodsy parks & covered bridges, the wide fields of farmland & grazing horses, & all the places to shop & eat alongside old stone mills turned into restaurants are new to us.  We “found” this garden center in Furlong that hosts pumpkin picking & whatnot thanks to meeting our neighbor.  And since my wee littlest baby girl turned a big fat whopping TWO years old in the midst of our moving madness this was the closest she got to birthday pictures.  I admit, even just on the drive up York Rd to get there I was humming with what still needed to get done.  But then we parked in a grassy field & spied this milk truck left to retire & I half hid behind behind my camera… focus.


Oh hello, happy and oh-so 2 years old.  Tah-dah!

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See.  Straight up tourists.  Pony rides and everything.  Even my big girl.Nicole Dolan Photo_0012Her little hands, as if she’s an old pro at this.Nicole Dolan Photo_0011

My son, going on 6 feet tall here, was hard to keep up with.Nicole Dolan Photo_0015Who knew the colors in the jump tent are just as playful?  Nicole Dolan Photo_0014Nicole Dolan Photo_0013Dirt on her nose & something that is NOT food in her mouth.  Typical Two.Nicole Dolan Photo_0016We later used a series of these pictures that afternoon to help my husband find his glasses in the pumpkin patch.  He had them tucked into the throat of his shirt, but not in these shots.  Narrowed down the search & he found them!
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I am so grateful Norah has such loving older siblings.  Nicole Dolan Photo_0018Nicole Dolan Photo_0020


We got back to our new home after a long day of sightseeing & all the noise from the big new change in our life was still there, still needed tackling.  A lot quieter though.  And this new-to-me place is terribly photogenic.  I could get used to this.


Happy to be so,





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