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"Sprinter," or "The Messy Middle"

Updated: May 18, 2023

According to the calendar, spring officially started over a week ago.

If you live in Minnesota and have been outside, you’ll notice that the robins and other birds are singing their hearts out, the sun is higher in the sky, and the snow is melting. But you may still be wearing your warmest winter coat, hat, and gloves. And if you’ve lived in Minnesota for any length of time, you know that March, April, and even sometimes May, can still deliver a solid blizzard or snowstorm. As I type, it’s predicted that we’ll receive between 5 and 8 inches of snow overnight!

Minneapolis Snowy City Street
8+ inches of 'sprinter' snow!

Even though winter has officially ended, we still have to find our way through this mucky, muddy, freeze-thaw, icy, sloppy season before we truly reach what feels like spring.

Our youngest calls this season “Sprinter,” a mash up of spring and winter, but not fully either.

Minnesota “spring” is a great illustration of how transition is rarely as simple as moving from point A to point B. Most transitions involve an in-between space, what author William Bridges calls “The Neutral Zone.” In his classic book, Transitions, Bridges outlines the three stages of a transition. First, there is an ending, and all that accompanies the ending, including grief; then, second, there is an unknown space, a neutral zone, a messy middle; and finally, third, there is a new beginning.

In any transition, we are often in the neutral zone (somewhere between points ‘A’ and ‘B’) for far longer than we’d like to be. Think of a move, for example: you’ve made the decision to move and found a new home. But weeks or longer can be spent packing up before there’s the moment of change itself when your turn over the keys of one place and get the keys to the next. And then, after you’ve in your new home, it can take a few months to feel at home. You still get lost driving around. You don’t know your neighbors. You miss the old coffee shop, and the way they made your drink. It takes time to settle in to the new reality.

Often, we think we’ve fully landed at a new beginning, but more likely, we’re still somewhere in the messy middle, and we find ourselves wondering why we still feel unsettled, disoriented, and confused. It can feel like spring in Minnesota.

Spring time ice in Minneapolis
The "Sprinter" job: Busting up ice in the alley while the robins sing!

At Holding Space for Change, our mission is to accompany you through that in between time. We travel with you, helping you to surface the wisdom and guidance from within, while providing a safe and trustworthy container as you journey toward your new beginning.

To learn more about what services Holding Space for Change offers, click here.

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