Last week my husband and I helped our daughter pack up and move for her sophomore year in college. This week we were helping my son pack and leave for his first year in graduate school. As we were doing all of the necessary shopping for both children, I noticed the decorations in the stores were for fall and Halloween. Some stores were even starting to set up Christmas displays - as someone posted this week on Facebook, there are only 17 Saturdays until Christmas!
As we finish the month of August and head into September, we transition into the fall season, into returning to schools, into “start-up” activities for programs in churches, clubs, and organizations, into the next season of our lives. As a child, time could not go fast enough for me. I was never old enough to do anything, and had to wait for everything. It seemed to take forever until I could ride my bike to the store, cook on my own, drive.
Now, I cannot seem to keep up with the passing of time. It is the end of August, and I cannot tell you where my summer went. The plans that I had made in May for the upcoming summer season have either been completed or I ran out of time to do them. I am trying to process and pack away the summer days in my mind as I gear up and prepare for the fall. Don’t forget Christmas, only 17 Saturdays until Christmas. Oh My!!
Not only are my children, husband and I transitioning into a new season of the year, we are also transitioning into a new time in our lives. Our children are now adults and working towards making a life for themselves. My husband and I are learning to be a couple again. Let’s be clear, the children will always be children to us, and need our support. The loving support we provide is changing from guiding them to walking with them. (Hopefully the walking with them involves less yelling!) I forgot about the cat. We have a cat; she is not changing (Thank you God!!) She is just eats and sleeps and meows for attention.
I recently participated in a week-long conference - “Thriving in Your Third Act, Finding Fire and Fulfillment after 50”. Quite a few of the workshops were around the theme of life’s transitions. How appropriate for me. The consensus seemed to be that the best way to handle life’s transitions is to be present in the moment, acknowledge your feelings, and do the best you can.
So easy to say, and for me, hard to do, and following this sage advice is what I am challenging myself to do this fall season. I found this quote from Mayu Angelou that I want to share with you. I think that it covers this advice beautifully. “If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully. However, the wisest thing that you can do is be present in the present. Gratefully.”