We all know we have different seasons to our life. For the first two, we want to rush on through to the next adventure. For the last two, we may pine to go back to the beginning. The secret is to enjoy each season for the opportunities it gives you.
As women, our seasons have certain unmistakable landmarks:
Spring. The first time you cry (birth) through the first time you visit the school nurse (puberty).
Summer. Your first kiss through your first Tupperware party.
Autumn. Your first time having to change your clothes after a good laugh or sneeze through your first time forgetting why you walked into a room.
Winter. I can't remember the last season. What was the question? My back hurts.
What's sometimes difficult is navigating our way through them. We want to jump ahead into the next season. It helps to understand what they are designed for, what we should be doing during them, and what we should learn from them.
Learn to talk. Learn to walk. Learn to read. This is the season with the most drastic physical changes happening at a rapid-fire pace. It is hard being told to slow down and enjoy it, though, because you are so pre-occupied with growing up. You stuff your training bras with tissues and lie about your age, adding a few years on.
You can hardly wait for all of those things you will do, be and accomplish once you are a woman. You dream about that first kiss. You decide how you'll raise your children and even think of names for them. You want to drive a car, invent something and change the world. You want to be a ballerina, an astronaut, a teacher and a scientist. We need to impress upon our daughters the preciousness of this time and teach them to just enjoy being a kid.
Get an education. Date boys. Learn what we do and don't want in a spouse. Have your heart broken a few times. Develop a philosophy. Get married. Have children. This is also a whirlwind time with most of the change happening inside rather than outside.
Still, as in spring, you are anxious to do other things. You may become bored with motherhood and long for a career or you may become bored with your career and long to retire. Stop. Breathe. Enjoy your lot and know that there will be time for the other later. Develop yourself. Learn new things. Make family your priority.
Watch children leave home. Work on personal development and long-term goals. Read a book without someone whining at the door. Eat what you want when you want. Enliven your marriage. Go back to school. Start a business. Resume your career. This is the season when you begin to think about turning time back.
You may lie about your age, subtracting a few years. You no longer want to rush ahead and grow up because now that means growing old. Embrace the change. This should be a season of humor. Laugh at your mistakes. See the joy in life. Appreciate the arts. Spend time with grandkids not because you have to, but because you want to. Mentor. Be generous with your time and resources. Be adventurous.
Read. Listen. Advise. Love. This is a time to accumulate the things you will take with you to the other side. Knowledge. Talent. Humor. Kindness. Love. Strengthen your family. Bond with the youngsters. Travel. Learn. Be an example to those you love. Give until it hurts. Be patient with your old body. It has seen you through a lot of seasons. Let it rest. Learn from the pain. Look forward to each new morning.
Life should be joyful in any season. We just need to learn to live in the moment, accept the changes with grace and humor and secretly plan for the future.
One good way to do this is to journal. A journal is a great place to share your life with your future self. You might make notes about plans and dreams, belly-ache about the difficulty of life right now and sort things out in general. It's like an imaginary friend who always listens and never judges.
We can dream about the future, remember the past, but it's best for us to find joy in the here and now and make each moment count.