Just as Memorial Day signals the unofficial start of summer, Labor Day serves as the unofficial transition to autumn. As this holiday weekend nears, it’s a good time to reflect on just what this type of change really means and its impact.
Even a change of seasons may give us the chance to hone our resilience skills.
Certainly for people with kids in school, many of the transitions at this time of year are very obvious. Everything from daytime activities to bedtimes shift. Parents might be shopping for school supplies or packing their kids up and sending them off. But, families with kids are not the only people who experience change at this time and the start of a new school year is not the only change those families go through.
A microcosm of the macrocosm
Whether you’re prepping for a new school year, swapping out your closet’s summer gear with early autumn garb, putting your boat or RV in storage until next year or something else, these things can really reflect other transitions happening inside.
There are different thoughts and feelings associated with the different seasons and their related activities. The mental shifts that happen when moving from summer to autumn are similar to those we may experience in many other situations.
There is a reason that people refer to “the seasons of life” because life really never stands still. We get in routines and there can be positive elements to doing so but we must always be aware that those routines can be changed at any time.
Welcome and unwelcome changes
Changes come in many forms. Some are expected and just part of the universe, like the change from summer to autumn. Other changes may be initiated or chosen by us like the move to a new city or home or the start of a new job. Still other changes are thrust upon us when we least expect it—and many of these we might rather say “No thank you” to if we could. The death of a loved one, the loss of a job, the receipt of a serious medical diagnosis—these events trigger transitions that, like it or not, we must navigate.
Welcome the opportunity to practice
When summer ends, do you bemoan the loss of that season for weeks on end or do you embrace something positive from the next season? Even if it’s the ability to wear your favorite sweater as the weather cools or to enjoy the return of college football, maybe there is something you can wrap your arms around to help you through the shift.
Smaller changes, including those that we expect, may well give us the chance to hone our skills in moving through life’s changes. Building resilience on a regular basis can shore us up and better our chances of handling the bigger changes with the grace we might hope for.