Fall is my favorite time of the year. The weather is beautiful as the warmth of the sun energizes you in the day, while the crisp nights make for perfect sleeping weather. The landscape transitions as the leaves start to change into vibrant oranges and reds and deep shades of brown. The air is full of hope with a new school year and a new football season. Fall is also when my birthday is. Because I love it so, I chose to get married around this time. I almost named my daughter Autumn.
But recently I realized that I’m not as comfortable with change in reality as I am in theory. And this time brings about a lot of change. In rapid succession. The jump off point is my baby’s birthday, followed by my husband’s a week later. Two weeks after that is our wedding anniversary (the big 1-0 this year!) Two weeks after that is my oldest son’s birthday, followed by my birthday a month later (another big one this year, the Big 4-0!!) In the midst of that is the start of school and at work, a new grant cycle. Trying to keep up with it all, I’m spinning. I feel like I can’t even catch my breath….
Besides me not liking change, I put a lot of pressure on myself to plan the perfect birthdays for everyone to make them super special. So then I get overwhelmed. And exhausted. Then irritated. And resentful. I invest all this time and energy into everyone’s else’s happiness, that by the time my birthday caps off the season, and no one has invested the same amount of time and energy into me, I feel let down and angry. It’s a vicious cycle. But this year, this BIG year will be different because I recognize the cycle. Which means I can stop it.
I can accept the inevitable transitions and embrace them as my life moving forward the way it’s supposed to. Yes, my children will continue to get older (God willing) as will I (God willing). I will be thankful for each year I get to have a partner and be loved by my husband and celebrate another year of commitment. I will take pride in the time and effort I put into creating these wonderful memories my family will have of their birthdays and first days of school that they can hold in their hearts long after I’m gone. And I will, like the trees losing leaves, release the things that no longer serve me in this time to make room for the greatness that is to come.