My Beautiful You friends,
So, like so many of you I am in the process of transitioning from summer to fall. For me, summer is a time of adventure, of soaking up my family, of sleeping late, staying up later, hot days and cool nights.
To say I live for summer, might be a bit much, but it is my favorite time of year. (Being a teacher and having the summer off has nothing to do with it either – lol.) Like my students I get summer-itis and the fall blues. I don’t want the long days to end. I like waking up when it’s light out and coming home when it’s still light out. Oh, yeah, and I was born in July too… you get the idea.
So, to say I miss my time off is putting it mildly, though, since I love what I do, going back to ‘work’ isn’t as hard as I’m making it sound.
This summer was particularly full for me and so transitioning into work mode has been a bit more challenging than usual. Mostly because I was traveling so much I didn’t get quite enough ‘curl up on the couch with a damn fine book’ time, or time to write, my other passion. I did however, refill my cup till it runneth over with love and joy and gratitude for all that I have, all that I am, and for all who I love and all who love me. Seeing the world in all its grandiose beauty and harsh realities is expanding and I’m not the same as a result. But that’s the point of traveling (at least for me)—to grow, to learn, to shift my perception, make it wider, deeper, fuller.
What I didn’t expect was for that sense of fullness to carry over so completely into my everyday life. I feel more centered, more at peace. Like I know a bit more thoroughly where I belong—right here, right now.
Hence, transitioning… and allowing myself to experience fully whatever that means. One aspect of this shift was helping my son pack up his room and move to college. You’d think that after nearly 10 months of his being gone wandering the world (mostly alone,) I would be fine with him going off to university. And actually, I really, truly am. I am in fact, thrilled for him. But there was something more poignant about the time we shared going through mementos, choosing what clothes he should take, which of his favorite books he’d want with him, and what art supplies to pack, than getting him ready for traveling abroad. He’s really truly not my ‘little boy’ anymore (and in reality hasn’t been for some time now since he’s nearly 6’ and I’m 5’6” on a good day.) He’s his own man and I couldn’t be prouder. He has his own ‘village,’ a conglomeration of family and family friends and friends of his own that have become his family. He has lived in a foreign country, speaks fluent conversational Spanish and has seen things in this world I will never get to—and I’m so glad for that. It’s what I have always wanted for him—to be curious, to ask why, to be empathetic, and open, and to surrender when he doesn’t have all the answers with the understanding that if he allows it, the answers will come. He is brilliant, creative, funny as hell, and kind. Can you tell I love him to pieces?
I digress, but really, it’s all part of the same topic, transitions. He is transitioning as I am, as are we all, as is summer. The days are getting shorter, the nights longer, the weather is cooling off (well, not in Santa Ynez. It was 100* yesterday!) Autumn is a time of shifting from self mode to work mode (though I do practice selfing on a regular basis). Back to school means schedules and obligations and helping my students grow into their potential. It also means reconfiguring my schedule and making sure that I make my time to write, to exercise, to get enough sleep, to keep in touch with my loved ones, and be as present in the moment as I can. And then there’s winter, of course.
During the winter months, I tend to hibernate, though not as much since I moved out of the snow. I value this time as dearly as my sun basking days. Winter affords me the opportunity to go more inner, to think a little deeper, to contemplate what I have accomplished, what I would like to still achieve. It’s also a time to rest, I sleep a lot more during the winter months. Maybe it’s the extra blankets, the cozy fire, getting dark before 5:00pm….
Life is always in transition; it’s just a matter of finding your footing in a world that is constantly shifting. I take deep breathes, write in my journal, read inspiring self-empowerment books, happily ever after books, books where the good guy always wins (though perhaps bashed up and changed from who they were before.) I love my man, I love my mom and dad and sister and brother. I love my son. I love myself. Touchstones, solid ground in an ever shifting world.
So, my Beautiful You friends,
How do you handle transitions? Kicking and screaming or going with the flow? What are your touchstones? What helps you stay centered that might help someone else? Leave a comment. Your voice matters. You matter, and don’t ever forget it.