The Art of the Pivot


It’s a word used in sports. In business. And my favorite use is in the show Friends when Ross shouts it, trying to get his new couch up the stairs with the help of Rachel and Chandler.

What is a pivot? It’s essentially a change of direction. You’re walking straight ahead when suddenly, one foot still down in place a sharp turn is required. Pivot!

Life has been a lesson in The Pivot, large and small.

Aimed toward being married forever, realize suddenly that being scared all the time isn’t a great way to live? PIVOT! Huge pivot. Single at 60.

Can’t afford to stay in California anymore where everyone and everything you know is located? PIVOT!

Friend coming to visit when you haven’t had an in-person conversation with a friend in months and months? Make plans and then she can’t come? PIVOT.

We all have to pivot. We’ve all done more than our fair share of pivoting during this little global pandemic thing, right?

We’re doing it, The Pivot, so why bother becoming friends with it?

Life is fabricated of change and uncertainty. What’s the saying, “in this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes”? (Benjamin Franklin.)

For many of us with traumatized nervous systems, change is like a playground bully–we’re scared of it. We avoid it. We tend to like same and more same, but of the good and friendly type. We may even put up with the unfriendly type because at least we know it. Control. We want control. We want familiar.

Life requires flexibility. Plans change. Hopes die. Finances take a hit. Covid-19 shows up.

My basic goal in healing from trauma is this: to learn to feel all the feels, and still keep moving, not getting stuck in my fear of the unknown. Not being the deer in the headlights when the outcome isn’t what I pictured.

Being able to call out PIVOT! and look around for my next move.

Where in your life could you stand to pivot?

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