We celebrated the end of a season at our house last weekend and our tradition is to mark the occasion with a meal. Homemade waffles are our annual breakfast to celebrate this day and we kicked it up a notch this year and added fried chicken because...well, why not?
You see our year is divided into two seasons. Either we are "in season" or it is the "off season". My husband is a basketball coach and that means that for six months of the year there are evening practices, games on weekends, recruiting calls after dinner, anxiety about the team's record and whether or not they will make the tournament...and then suddenly there's not. Of course the "off season" has responsibilities and a rhythm of its own but it is vastly different from what it feels like when we are "in season".
The patterns that our year is divided into have become familiar to me and I now love each season for what it offers. But the passage between the two wasn't always easy. In earlier years I focused on what I was losing with each transition. During the season, I spent dinners and weekends on my own. Loss of companionship. Then basketball season ended and suddenly my husband wanted to make plans. Loss of independence. Quite simply, I didn't like the change. I wanted it to be the same routine all the time, not just half of the time.
Perhaps you are in a transition or experiencing something new right now. It may be related to choices you've made or it could be something that took you by surprise. You might be in one of these situations:
- You've started a new job or a taken on a new position within your current company
- You're winding down a career and transitioning to retirement
- You've just returned to work after a maternity leave and are juggling work and parenthood
- You were recently exited from an organization
Or any number of other scenarios that involve change from what was to what is.
These changes can often be difficult for us to embrace. We fear the unknown and focus on what we're losing. We move from a routine that makes sense and has order, to something new. And often times we tell ourselves that we are now stuck there forever. Because we struggle to recognize that it is a season. That our life is full of them and much like our weather this year, sometimes they aren't orderly and don't happen in the timeframes we expect them to. Instead they're jumbled up, inconvenient and set our plans on end.
When I view life as a series of seasons I do several things differently.
- I look at the lessons that the previous season taught me and express gratitude for them
- I anticipate that this season is going to present me with opportunities to grow and I am on the lookout for them
- I let go of anxiety about things that are causing me discomfort because I know that change will continue to happen
And rather than missing the adrenaline rush of a Friday night nail biter, I relish quiet movie nights at home instead.
Perhaps it will benefit you to spend some time reflecting on the season that you're in right now. I put together this worksheet to guide you through the process. Feel free to download it, use it, and share it.