Goodness how the summer flew!
I spent a good amount of time this summer being busy. Yes, busy. This was the summer I was supposed to take it easy. After my mother’s cancer and a crazy academic year, this was the summer I was supposed to rest. I didn’t schedule any writing fellowships, retreats, or residencies this year. I wanted to sleep in, spend time with my family and live, as the kids are saying, my best life.
Boy, did I underestimate that!
This was probably the busiest summer. I was able to teach some creative writing classes including teaching artists how to write their artist statements. I taught a Noir Writing class that I LOVED. (I hope I get to teach that again). I also did some writing and, most recently, I printed out the first draft of my memoir manuscript and have entered the revision process.
But it’s the day before we have to return the work. I’m looking at the calendar and I’m wondering, where did all my time go?
Ha! I know where it went. I was living my best creative life and I loved every moment of it.
Earlier this month, I was lamenting the ending of this amazing summer. But looking back at my Instagram feed, I’m changing my tune for a bit. I am not lamenting the end of this summer, I am celebrating that it happened and that I grew as a result.
Lamenting wastes time and energy, which is better spent learning and growing.Tweet
Seriously, I have no complaints about the summer. Yes, it could have been longer or I could have done more. I could have made any other numerous complaints buy why would I do that? Why would I take from the good things I have experienced and learned?
Listen, sometimes when we experience something –good or bad, delightful or sinking — we tend to play the what-if game or the I-wish game.
These are the game we are all familiar with.
“If only I had turned right instead of left.”
“If only I hadn’t done that things”
“What if I had been in the room?”
“I wish I could go back and do it over again.”
All of these questions, I find, can rob you of what you really should be reflecting on — the experiences and lessons you learned from the event.
Yes, this is a shift in thinking and, admittedly, it’s a difficult one. It’s in our nature to play this game. And we’ve all done it. In fact, I still do. But we have to train ourselves to shift our thinking from lamenting to gratefulness.
Yes, the infamous gratitude practice strikes again. But there’s something to it. I find myself ready to let go of my summer experiences. Indeed, it was a busy and fruitful summer. However, I am thankful for the opportunities and the lessons and I’m prepped for applying those lessons to a new season.
So, thank you summer and hello fall!