It’s been a glorious summer in New England. Not too hot, not too cold, plenty of sunshine. Yet, as I’m writing today it’s raining and just a little bit chilly. I feel like there is change in the air. The hot summer days, are turning just a tad cooler. We haven’t needed air conditioning at night this week. Yesterday I noticed that dusk came just a bit earlier. People are talking about school starting.
While I’m not ready to hang up my beach pass yet, I see that autumn is on it’s way. I’m waiting for my tomatoes to ripen, and I’m ready to wear some of my fall wardrobe. I’ve always loved living with the seasons because of the constant reminder: change happens. In fact, the only constant is change.
I remember the moment that this idea first truly hit home, and gave me a great sense of relief. I was a new mother, sleep-deprived, hormones-ranging, living in a new life, missing my old life, my familiar friends, my pre-baby-body; missing my old-familiar self. To summarize: I felt a lot of anxiety. When my baby would cry, and I couldn’t differentiate (and I thought that I was supposed to be able to) between a cry for food, or sleep, or comfort, I got anxious. When I couldn’t manage to do the things that I thought that I “should” be able to, or that I used to be able to, I felt anxious. When I was snowed in for two weeks because Washington DC was experiencing the worst winter in its history, and I was alone and bored, I felt worried that I would be stuck there for ever. Enter: my Best Friend. She listened and over the phone reminded me of her mantra. This one had helped her through her own dark moments of new motherhood and uncertainty. She said to me: Remember, this is only a phase. There is a reality outside of this. I felt like something shifted, or maybe more like something settled. AH-HA! That’s absolutely right.
Even now, when I feel like everyone is yelling at me, and nothing is going as planned, that phrase grounds me. I know that whatever is happening will end. The anxiety rises when I am holding onto something too tightly and I fear that I will lose my grasp. I try in those moments to breathe, and remind myself that I don’t have to worry about losing my grip, because my grip too will change, whether I want it to or not.
This topic of change and the feelings that come up around change is constant. More often than not, life feels like a roller coaster with the stomach drops and the terrifying ascents into nothingness. In the off moments, when I am calm and feeling like a whole person, I can snuggle into the ubiquity of change yet again and remind myself that through change, life happens.