Recently, I learned a surprising twist to my family history that forced a shift in the way I think about my extended family and who we are. (Thankfully, it was a good twist.) However, it doesn’t really change my life at all and I have been struggling with this dichotomy. How can something so significant have so little effect on my daily routine? Does that mean it doesn’t really matter? I don’t think that’s the case.

The way I see it, a major life event can fall into one of three categories:

  • the kind that shakes your foundation and alters your worldview but doesn’t really change how you go about your daily business;
  • the kind that turns your everyday life upside down but doesn’t generally change who you are;
  • the kind that does both; it rocks your world now and forever.

I realize I’m the girl who can put the anal in analyze, but I think it helps to be able to identify and categorize life’s big deals. This helps us gain perspective so we can understand how to deal with these things. It helps us know when to ask for help or to share the news. We can learn how to move forward if we know what’s in front of us.

Think about it. A job change might alter your everyday life, but it probably won’t change the core of your being. Knowing that can help you get over the hump of a steep learning curve. The birth of a child will rock your world forever, so it wouldn’t make sense to expect things to get back to “normal.” You might as well get on with the business of finding your new normal.

The better you understand yourself, the better you’ll be able to relate to others. A little introspection can go a long way.