As the leaves begin to change colour and we’re heading out of Summer and into Fall…I’ve been reflecting on the last few months and where my head has been.
You’ve probably noticed…there’s not been a lot of blogging. My personal life blew up with the passing of my best friend’s Dad, a friend group going through some difficult times, supporting my children through a few challenges, my son’s return to university and having to put my dog down to name a few of the larger things.
I use writing as an outlet and while I did write about losing Zucchini…the rest of the things never made it to the blog as some things just can’t be put into words.
My head…for these reasons and many more…has been a bit jumbled to put it mildly. I’m emotional, quick to tear up, anxious…I’m trying to put my best self forward to the world when the reality is…I’ve been a bit of a wreck!
Suffice it to say, it’s been a really hard Summer and while I’m happy to leave it behind, I know I’ll be dragging much of the emotional debris along with me.
The shining light through it all…Faith and Love.
I’m surrounded by a remarkable family, an amazing set of friends and a pretty kick-ass life. While I feel burdened and am overwhelmed by a great amount of sadness…it reminds me of just how very important these things are to me.
I feel different. Changed somehow. The things that are most important to me have been made even clearer which is weird…because I thought it was pretty clear to begin with. Both the passing of time and someone you love have a funny way of making you see things that you didn’t see the same way before.
Family remains for me, the very most important thing there is and with Thanksgiving coming, I’ve summoned my children home. I have an emotional need to be surrounded by those I hold most dear as there’s a constant nagging in my mind…a knowledge, that everything can change so quickly. But even more…it’s just that I want to be with them. While life is busy, the time you give to someone is an absolute gift. As the kids are fleeing the nest and making exciting lives of their own, I need them to remember that I’m important too. As a single mom who’s put her kids first and foremost…sometimes, I feel a little left behind. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reel it all in and spend some quality time together.
On the flip-side of that…it’s not up to my children to make me happy. Their lives are THRILLING at the moment and I’m so excited to see each of them discover their passions. For the last number of years, work and my children have been my passion and I’ve completely wrapped myself into those two things. Now, as I find my life changing and my children needing me a little less than they did before…it can’t be just WORK that fills me. While I love my job and I’m incredibly grateful for all it provides me…I have to find another THING that makes me tick…as “work” is all I seem to be doing these days.
I’m currently searching for whatever that THING is! (All suggestions are welcome.)
Lucky for me…while I have this wonderful family filled with aunts and uncles, cousins, siblings, children and absolutely amazing and fabulous parents…I’m also blessed to have a number of groups of friends who feed my soul. My family and friends support and energize me, provide a positive and safe place to be myself. They embrace me despite all of my faults and idiosyncrasies. I need to make more time for each of them in my busy days as they are fundamental to who I am. I rely on them…much like this air I breathe. The people who surround me…make me a much better person than I am on my own.
So…as I’m unscrambling my head and trying to figure out what’s most important…it comes down to the same three things…Family, Friends and Me…BUT, not quite in that order. I’m told (by a perfectly wonderful counsellor I’ve had kicking around for a few years now), that I have to go against the way I typically do things…and move “Me” to the front of the list. Turns out, at this precise moment, I need a little extra self-care (I see a spa-date on the horizon!)
Last evening, as I sat at the supper table…just me and Meg eating chicken nuggets and fries and discussing what was going on with school and activities…she commented how she was having a bit of a tough time understanding the book she’s currently reading for English…The Great Gatsy. Ironically, it was one of my favorites and as I laid in bed last night thinking it was time to re-read the old classic and help her to understand it a bit more…one of my favourite lines from the book suddenly jumped out at me (though admittedly I had it a little wrong and had to look it up again this morning)…
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
Summer has passed and today marks a brand new season! It’s time to turn a new leaf, make a few changes, watch the leaves fall where they may and feel the crispness in the air.
Life starts all over again…right now.
Photo Credit: Lara Debruyn Photography
Beautiful post, Colleen. It’s definitely a time of fresh starts, and I’m realizing that’s what’s happening to me lately, as well. With my youngest now off to school, I’m entering a stage where my children need me a little less, too. Can I suggest you pick up a new hobby? I have far too many hobbies and they add immeasurable happiness to my days. xo
Thanks Heather…you’ll find as the kids get a little older that they’ll need you all over again…but for different reasons. A Hobby is a wonderful thing. I think my problem is that so many of my “hobbies” and creative outlets have become part of my job…so I never really feel like I get away from work. I might need to try something all together new…maybe fishing! Or, take on a few creative art projects to get my creative energy flowing! Try new things. That’s what I’m going for.
I <3 U.
I reread the GG last year… it's such a good read.
As for the rest, I'm still looking for that THING too… I'll know it when I throw myself passionately into it I guess.
Love you too Heather!!! How cool that you read Great Gatsby last year too!!! Let me know when you find your thing…maybe it’s the same thing I’m looking for.
Life has a way of being so hard at times, it throws us off kilter. You are amazing…never forget that!
Thank you Lori!!! Just look in the mirror, right?! 🙂 Appreciate you always being such an amazing cheerleader. I think you’re awesome too.
Hi Colleen, great read! I feel the same with my daughter away at university. It may be an age thing as well where we are trying to determine our purpose at this stage in our lives. Funny you mentioned the Family, Friends, Me. I just read an article to put Me first and it really resonated. Hope to see you at Fall Queen Pins.
Ohhh…Fall Queen Pins…going to go look into it now and see if the dates work for me!
I can so relate to this…especially the part about it’s not up to your children to bring you happiness. I’m still “in it” as far as the parenting kids at home phase…but with one already moved out…and the others needing us less and less, I think a lot about what the next phase is going to look like. I really want to learn how to golf….or something. 😉 Great read!
I golfed once and did enjoy it! It’s so strange with them growing up…let’s grab coffee soon and tour around a bit. That might be a thing to do!
First off, thank you for sharing! You are an inspiration. This summer was trying for me as well, and Fall feels like a New Year to me. I was tempted on several occassions to write about my summer, and the words just would not come out properly. After reading your beautiful post I am inspired to share more and write that post. There is always at least one other person in the world who will relate to our ups and downs.
You are amazing, take time to find that thing or place you need to be. You are worth it!!
Thank you Ruth…and yes, you had a difficult summer for sure. Family first…always!!!
Appreciate your comments so much…you’re worth it too! xo
That’s beautiful. May we all be so lucky.
So beautiful Colleen…change is very hard, especially when it comes to our children…mine are needing me less and less, but more in some ways (they’re young teenagers). And I love watching them grow and flourish, but it is a constant tug at my heart. I hope your fall is is a light for you xo
It’s hard to write when things are tough, and yet writing is one of the best things we can do to help us through. Lovely post. Glad you got to writing it!