Appreciate the Seasons

My wife and I have a beautiful 4-month old daughter.  She is chubby, full of smiles, and loves to be held.  If you put her down to explore by herself, she always ask to be picked back up.

Until she didn’t–just last week–and started to enjoy time on her own.

We used to joke about how we’d have a tough time dropping her off for middle school still in the baby carrier, because it’s a funny image.  And carrying a baby for 20 hours a day is hard work.  But as we watch her becoming more independent, a part of us was sad that she is, in this small way, growing up.

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Life arrives in seasons.

I think this happens with many of aspects of life and work.  All sorts of things come in seasons, not just weather.

…if current trends continue, I’ll say to myself, I’ll still be in the same place in five years.  I’ll be fighting the same struggles and frustrations I am now.   …and I won’t be able to handle it.

Instead, I need to remember that most of life arrives in waves, like the light and the weather.  There will be struggles and victories, uncertainty and simplicity, more and less.  There will be stable times when it seems like things will always be the same, and times when everything changes all at once.

More importantly, I need to appreciate the seasons.  They are a time to focus, to devote greater attention to a few particulars, to learn gratitude and exercise patience.  They should be enjoyed, because they will certainly pass.  I’ll take the lessons and memories forward, and be better for it–if I have the perspective and openness to learn from the gift of time I’ve been given.

Because life isn’t always an even-tempered journey, and great careers don’t always follow a steady path of predictable growth.

Four things I’m doing to appreciate the seasons in my life:

  • Acknowledge them.  Noticing a string of rainy days is much more discouraging than seeing the first signs of Spring.  Knowing I’ve entered a season allows me to appreciate the present and look forward to the seasons that will surely follow.
  • Have gratitude and perspective.  Every season has it’s joys, even if they’re not obvious–something that I’ve learned since moving to Chicago.  When I find a season stressful, I remember that it will end eventually, and that I can be grateful for the gifts that this time will bring.
  • Make changes, knowing they are temporary.  The equivalent of changing my wardrobe as I start to notice an autumn chill.  If I resist the season, I end up spending more time miserable.  Instead, I try to make a change to allow me to appreciate the season as I find it.

I hope this helps you enjoy the seasons in your life a bit more.  Take care!

 

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