The summer sun is still shining. The heat and humidity are here as well. We waited through a harsh winter and a rainy spring to finally arrive at summer, only to feel regret that these beach days are not enough. And now…we are anticipating summer slipping away into fall.
How we approach nature’s seasons teaches us about how we also approach our life cycle and changing seasons. Perhaps during this summer you have been continuing the celebration of your child’s graduation from high school only to find that when you turn the page into August, that celebration changes into getting him or her off to college. Feeling the approach of your empty nest may fill you with melancholy and fears of what your relationship with your child will be like in this new season of both your lives.
The anticipation of retirement is another journey from one season to the next. Your identity has been wrapped up in your life’s work and productivity. Who will you be when you enter this season of retirement? What will you do? How will you define yourself now?
With the changing of seasons there are bound to be some hints and teases of things to come. Some winter days might be unusually warm which makes us think that spring will be right around the corner. Our spring might offer us a taste of summer, or we might notice leaves starting to turn color in August, announcing the coming of autumn.
Just like the changing of the seasons, we receive hints about what may be ahead in our life seasons. We may not be ready for change…yet, but we can sense it and feel it. What are these signs of changing seasons?
1. Something Doesn’t Fit
What you used to count on as sure, predictable and comfortable isn’t quite right anymore. It might be a vague sense of unease without knowing what is causing it. You might feel you have less patience or feel fatigued.
2. Feeling Stuck
Change hasn’t happened yet and that new place of being hasn’t emerged either. You might be anxious about your feeling of inertia, knowing you can’t continue in your status quo, but you don’t know what you want to replace it with.
3. Searching For Clues To Your Future
Be aware of new things or states of being that engage your curiosity. You might find your body relaxing and leaning into that newness instead of feeling held back.
Seasons change and our personal seasons change too. Building that different relationship with your college freshman and enjoying the freedom and adventure that your entrance into empty nest has to offer can be your new season.
Retirement can offer the time to do new things, meet new people and expand your identity in ways you never imagined. The season of retirement is a culmination of career and the beginning of new horizons.
Every transition moves us from one place to another, whether physically or emotionally. It is our time of sensing the change of season, anticipating its arrival and being in the process of moving from spring to summer, fall to winter and back again. Our life cycle can be full of changing, growing and embracing each season of our lives. Enjoy the journey!