A lot of things have changed since I first moved here.
Friends have left. Some have gotten married. Birthdays have come and gone. Furniture has been replaced. Walls have been painted, planes boarded, road trips taken, tan lines made and faded.
Laughter has been sung throughout the house and conversations have been paused for weeping and prayer. Leaves changed colors, fell, died and then life bloomed again.
All the while, we have all been saying one thing: I don’t want to wait until it’s over to realize what I’ve got.
I want to savor each season.
There are moments happening right now that you are going to miss someday. You’ll look back with a fondness and think to yourself, I wish I would have known how glorious that time in my life was. I wish I would have loved more fiercely, gave more generously, appreciated the people who made me laugh until I cried.
That’s the challenge my house has been giving each other: appreciate this time as much as you can and don’t wish it away.
This week a lot of people have sat in front of me and cried. All of them afraid…of moving forward, of being hurt, of finding out that they put their heart and soul into the wrong thing.
Don’t fight the tide: the thing you can’t change.
You’ll just get frustrated. Because the water will rise and recede and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’re not in control of how far the waters reach and when they decide to change.
So, just enjoy the ocean.
We’re always wishing things away. Wanting change, looking for escape routes, trying to figure out timing, running at the first signs of pain.
But to savor is to enjoy something completely. Every part of it. Even the parts that make your chest pound and your hands shake. I want to learn to enjoy the unknown of the remainder of a season, even if it’s hard and even if it seems slow or like my dreams are being delayed.
Find some things to delight in, things that make you feel alive.
“Don’t just put your head down in survival mode. If you can’t find anything to truly enjoy, then change the things you can.”
My roommate knows what she’s talking about. Sometimes, I think she’s nearly mastered the art of savoring a season. Even when things are hard, I’ve seen her simply just sit down with a spread of watercolor, her pad and make something small and beautiful. It doesn’t change the circumstances of her life and it doesn’t give her answers about her future. But it makes her happy and lighter.
And it reminds us that sometimes joy requires just a simple act of doing one little thing that your heart loves.
The change will come when it comes, exactly when it’s supposed to. So, don’t spend the time in between sitting in fear, and wondering how it will all turn out. Don’t stew in impatience, wishing away time and wanting it all to just be over with.
There’s good in the season, things you’ll want back when they go away. Figure out what those things are and throw your heart into them. Sit on the floor and laugh with people who love you exactly as you are. Have pizza on the patio with friends who are content to let you fully be yourself. Paint rows of evergreen trees and pin them to your wall. Take a drive at sunset, see where you end up and watch the world as it yawns and begins to fall asleep.
It doesn’t mean that you won’t cry, or that you won’t feel frustrated, or sometimes ache for a change. But you can’t keep fighting the tide, it has its own schedule and rhythms for lows and highs.
Savor the season; change what you can and stop trying to control what you can’t.
And don’t wait until this season is over to realize all the good you have.