The feeling of late summer seems to bring on a renewed sense of urgency, as the days gradually fade into night and the sunset comes a bit earlier with each passing day. A new chill to the morning and night air are silent reminders that things are changing, that time is moving on, and a new season will arrive again before long.
People and places I planned to see but didn't work into my priority list are now surfacing at the top of my mind.
Living a full life is a great pleasure, but can sometimes leave out things that are important to me, and making sure I have enough downtime for myself is important too - it helps recharge the batteries of my mind, body, and spirit. Our modern lifestyles are full of distractions, and unexpected tasks that need time and attention can crop up out of nowhere. That's when priorities can get sidelined, but I always try to look for the lesson inherent in each event. What am I supposed to learn from this? At times the lesson is a need to slow down, get better organized, limit my expectations of others, or appreciate others more fully for both their presence in my life and just enjoy being together. Other times it's clear that I need help, I can't do everything myself, and the expertise of another will take care of things for me. This last one can come with an unexpected outlay of money for services rendered, but I appreciate that help is available, and can choose it. Thanks for the help, you saved me a lot of aggravation, I think to myself.
This time of year, as September rolls in, I'm reminded of how life can be like shades of blue. Vibrant yet soft like the summer sky, uplifting with its promise of freedom and beauty, and some long carefree days. But blue can also mean sad, distressed, disappointed, or depressed. The darker blue of a nighttime that lingers. The shades and tints can shift with thoughts and emotions. This is the month that I find myself reminded of a sad time etched in my memory, a time of passing, of the deep loss of a loved one. The nuances of memories can shift the shade of blue from appealing to unpleasant. The feel of the air, and the turn of the calendar, take me back to that day of transition when my life changed forever.
I find it helpful to notice the sensations I'm feeling, and the thoughts I'm thinking, and acknowledge them so they can surface and pass. I don't want to feel like this for long, I'd like these awkward feelings to go away sooner than later. Things can look different - even familiar places can seem foreign when I get that aching in my heart, the longing for what was lost. So I've learned to come back to appreciating things in the moment. To stop and observe, like when I visit the cemetery. Focusing on the here and now, the sound of crushed stone under my car tires on the pathway leading to the grave reminds me of childhood, and being in the back seat of our family station wagon on the dirt road that led to our camp. It's comforting. The serenity of this place, the stately presence of the trees that are content to be what they are, still living and growing, is grounding for me. I appreciate the quiet beauty of my surroundings and feel lighter, my emotions shift as I consider the miracle of it all. It brings on a happier mindset. I find the natural setting to be incredibly healing.
Every September is a turning point, with a shift in mindset, and finding new ways of thinking about things in order to keep moving forward. I've learned that I have the ability to decide to change, to create something new in order to continue to fill the void of loss, and to plan to do things that bring enjoyment and connection and live in service to others. These all bring something to look forward to. To learn the new lessons of another turning point, plan new things, and take action as the months unfold. New hope, new lessons, new joys of this magical life. I can change myself if I choose to. I Trust the Process.
Written by Janet Polech
September 1, 2023
'Words of Wellness' blog
"The best thing to hold on to in life is each other." - Audrey Hepburn