Sweet October, you are my favorite. The colors, fruit pies, the change in the air, the leaf dances, the carpet of color in the backyard, and the beginning of the holidays – these are all things I love about October. I live in New England and the change of seasons is pretty dramatic. I am so surprised every year by how many people get grinchy about the fall just because of this one little old thing… October means winter is drawing near. If you don’t like winter, this is a bad thing. Call me crazy but nights by the fire, cozy stews and knitting projects all make me love fall and winter. I’m in my glory. Seasons mean change and change hits us funny; we are either thrilled for the excitement of what is coming, or dreading what it might mean to our way of life.
This year has had carried so much change for me.
- seen my husband through 2 major surgeries
- lived through our second daughter move out, leaving us two by our lonesomes
- been out of the country twice (Nicaragua and Canada), and on at least 5 other trips
- hosted a regional event
- left a job I loved
- started a new one in a very different organization that is also wonderful
- started a blog
- lost and gained the same 10 pounds
- celebrated my 28th year of marriage
- taught myself to make books, stamps, yogurt, candles, a sweater, and dabbled in lettering
- & taken on challenges voluntarily that are far greater than my breadth of wisdom
These are just the ones I remember; I’ve blocked out the rest, and 2015 still has a few months left in it! Here’s the thing; I really don’t like change, but I love seasons, and there is a difference.
Seasons mean that there are fresh options brought on by the shift in temperatures – new fruits and vegetables are available, work projects escalate, there are different holidays to plan and plan around, and the opportunity for fresh starts and alternatives is constant. Each new season brings with it the chance to remember the things we love about that season, remember we haven’t done those things for at least a year, and celebrate the old and the new traditions with friends and family.
Change, however, is usually brought on by force. Someone makes a new choice that affects us and we have to make new choices to accommodate. In our case, we are aging in ways that are initiating attentiveness to new priorities (Already? So not fair.) Some of my changes this year are things I have needed to make a new decision about, resolutions that I’m glad I crafted. But I have also felt forced to change several times recently, with no feasible option for avoidance.
Do you know that in New England when the trees change they are actually not changing at all but returning to their true color? The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor. Who knew? It makes me wonder if I resist change because it reveals my true colors too. And I don’t always love those hues.
Scripture says we are all being transformed, anyway.
Today I choose to embrace the changes and the seasons as hopeful because I know I am changing too – inside and out, I am becoming the best version of myself because I refuse to stop learning from my life. I won’t stay stuck. There are still more friends to laugh with, more happy stories with my amazing family, more professional adventures, and more miracles always in front of us. I welcome the next season too, even though it means freezing mornings and slushy commutes, because it also means cranberry orange muffins and blue spruce Christmas trees. I can smell the holidays already.
Don’t get grinchy, now, you like the holidays too.
(THE LIST will resume tomorrow!)