“Turn Turn Turn” – one of my favorite childhood songs performed by The Byrds. It’s on my mind for several reasons, not the least of which yesterday was Election Day and I’m not sure if the tides have changed or things have remained the same because I am writing this article a several days prior. And since I am unsure of the election results as I write, it will not be part of today’s discussion. Instead, let’s examine the first line of the song, “to everything there is a season” – positives and negatives to life as it unfolds, resulting in constant change whether you like it or not.
One of the key lines in this song is “A time to Keep and A Time to Cast Away.” Next week will mark two years since my father died. As much as I miss him, life continues to move along – as it should. My mother and I both have decided to downsize. This will alleviate many of our house-related responsibilities that drain our energy, allowing us to spend less time worrying and more time enjoying. My mother is moving this month, having sold her/our home that she built 47 years ago. It’s time and we’re ready. Although, I’m sure on moving day she and I will stand at the end of the driveway sobbing. Next summer I will sell my house of 13 years and move to a condo ½ mile from hers so it will be much easier for us to be together on a regular basis and/or in urgent situations. We are both excited for this new chapter in our lives and we are both apprehensive. It’s normal to feel conflicted in this manner and once we get through all the stress and settle in, all will be wonderful, I hope.
In anticipation of moving, we have sold or donated most of our old unused furniture along with a bunch of miscellaneous items. It feels bittersweet to see it all go out the door: so many cherished memories of a life well-lived, a touch of sadness leaving the past behind, and excitement looking to the future. Memories flood my mind like a short film as I recall where I was living, who were my friends, where I was working, and what were my aspirations, hopes and dreams. It’s a bit daunting to realize there are more years behind than in front. One thing I’ve learned from these emotions in addition to coping through the pandemic is that the key to thriving amidst all the chaos is to shift and adjust as life evolves, going with the flow to the best of my ability while embracing change.
As we approach the end of 2020 and look forward to a (hopefully) much improved 2021, think about what you can cast away to help you better shift with life’s unpredictability. You may find yourself shedding unwanted tangible items as you clean out closets, the basement, or garage. Or you may find yourself shedding unwanted negative, stressful emotions as you focus inward, cleansing your soul with introspection, gratitude, and forgiveness. Either way I bet you will feel lighter, freer, and more optimistic.
And speaking of gratitude, Thanksgiving is in a few weeks and although we will not be able to have our typical large family and friend gatherings, it is still a time to take a moment to reflect on that for which we are thankful. I am thankful for my remarkable and loving family, my incredible and supportive friends, my health, and Zoom!
Wishing you and yours a healthy, joyous, and peaceful Thanksgiving.