Ready or not, just like in life, seasons change. Sometimes I’m glad to see them go (such as Winter), but in the case of this post from September 2015, I was actually feeling a little melancholy.
When I finally stopped avoiding it, I realized that most of my end-of-the-summer blues were directly related to my daughter moving out on her own after she graduated from college. No surprise..change is hard for me. But through the practice of gratitude, I realized that some things never change – God’s grace.
It’s labor day weekend. Kiddos are back in school. And college football has commenced. That came only mean one thing….even though the calendar says otherwise, we all know that summer is officially over.
Usually by this time of year, I am so ready for the end of summer. By the middle of September I am dreaming about long-sleeved t-shirts, a pot of chili on the stove, and the return of my favorite shows on tv.
But this year is different….I’ve been hanging onto summer for dear life.
It’s been a while since I’ve felt this sort of end of summer melancholy. To be honest, I have a bit of regret about this summer…and you should know that I say this very carefully. In general, the only time I use the word ‘regret’ is when I have said or done something to hurt someone that I care about. Or in this case, when I feel like I’ve missed out on something because I wasn’t paying attention.
I think this was the day that I stopped paying attention.
I spent the next several weeks trying hard not to notice my daughter’s empty bedroom. Trying not to notice the ache in my heart at not having my girl home for the summer.
It was easy to avoid…summer provides ample distraction. A wonderful family fourth of the July at the lake. Great times with great friends on vacation….but after all the busyness of summer finally started to wind down, Kelsey’s empty bedroom was still there waiting for me.
I knew from previous experience that if I wanted peace and joy back in my life, gratitude was the key. So starting in august, it was back to basics for me.
Gratitude and mindfulness have a way of opening your heart to the true beauty of things…even things that might not seem beautiful at first glance…because it forces you to see with new eyes.
I’m sad to see summer go this year because by the time I finally got my shit together, summer was nearly over. I missed it. I missed the magic because I stopped paying attention. I missed the magic because I was ungrateful. and I regret that.
There are no do-overs in summer. There are no do-overs in life. But there is learning and growing.
And there is always grace.
let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ~hebrews 4:17