As we packed the cars and loaded up most of my son Justin’s personal belongings to head back to college, I reflected on how I really appreciate that there are seasons to life. For Justin and College Life it was about tuition, books, detergent and reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.
It wasn’t quite as sad this time (the second) as it was his first year. But, it was sad in another way. I realized Justin continues to move into adulthood and his own life creation that he will autograph with his unique signature. I wouldn’t have it any other way! We have spent his whole life giving him roots to grow and wings to fly. He has taken flight and is soaring with grace and ease. During this journey, I have loved every pencil, pen, package of notebook paper, and even those expensive Texas instrument ‘things’ I have bought him.
Sadly, there are fewer and fewer times where I will buy him ‘stuff’ for his school year. But with that sadness came a thought –we all start over time and time again throughout our lives. Michael and I are crafting a new life together. My business is taking some new directions. My parents need me in a different way. My perspective on life and work has changed dramatically with the passage of time. While some of this is challenging – it is also exhilarating and exciting for the following three reasons.
We often think of January 1 as the beginning of a new year, but I have always found Fall a wonderful time to begin again. The year is two thirds gone and this is a great time to reflect on where we’ve been, how we want to finish the year, and to plan for next year. As long as we are inhaling oxygen, we can begin again. Be grateful for the gift of life and new beginnings.
Justin’s tuition is higher this year. I can choose to be angry about that or be grateful we can pay the difference. Likewise, we can be irate about the price of gas or be grateful we have a car and can afford to maintain it. We can complain about the turbulent stock market or appreciate we are able to meet our needs and have the support of friends and family.
You can’t always choose what happens to you, but you can choose your response every day. Always realize that you have the power to choose how you respond to life. Once you reach adulthood, if you choose to be a victim to your childhood or circumstance you are giving your power away. You’ve heard the saying if we all put our problems in the middle of the room, most of us would choose to pick up our own after we see what burdens others’ are carrying.
New beginnings, school starting, and seasons changing remind us that life is movement. It’s always changing, evolving and is never stagnant. Change is good. It’s an opportunity for us to grow, adapt, and expand. Embrace change! Now more than ever it is imperative that we change, learn, and grow. We will certainly be left behind if we do not.
I recently heard that there are more ‘salads in a bag’ sold than a head of lettuce. Land lines are becoming extinct as cell phones become the major means of communication. Credit cards will be on our cell phones in the future and we won’t need to carry them separately. We can take a picture of a check from the comfort of our home and deposit it in our account. Change is happening faster than ever. Change isn’t optional. It is an absolute requirement to survive and thrive today. It keeps us fresh and makes us more interesting as people and leaders.
So enjoy whatever season it is in your life. Know you can create and design your life every day. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Embrace and grow with and from change. Create a life you’re proud to autograph and call your own.