Next Stage

by Natasha Sherman

Parents, teachers and anyone who works with children know and accept that there are developmental stages in children’s growth. We watch for the cues; we don’t expect children to run before they can walk, we know that it takes time to get potty trained or for them to eat a meal without having half of it on the floor and in their hair.

It occurs to me that what happens when we reach adulthood is that we somewhat unknowingly assume that we are the finished product. We’ve learned all the basic skills of childhood and now we are done. Very often, what we don’t recognize is that unconsciously we feel unfinished and that somehow in some ways we must have missed the boat because we don’t measure up to what we might have anticipated the finished product to be. There is often an implied sense of failure, of loss, disappointment, and even of resignation.

What if we looked at adulthood as being made up of developmental stages as well – until we die? What if we saw our lives as a series of developmental stages that include different learning, different abilities developing, new stages of expansion, expanding awareness and insights, new levels of self-acceptance and self-knowledge? It seems to me that it would give us some breathing room, some ease, and some self-acceptance in our lives.

To paraphrase a quote I read somewhere, adulthood “is a journey, not a sudden landing.”


Natasha Sherman is a Life Success Coach and television host on Princeton Community Television.

Divorce/Separation/Life Transitions Coach
“Live by Design/Not by Default™”

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