Bright colored leaves on the trees. Apple-picking. Sweater weather. Dazzling orange pumpkins. The warm days and the cool nights. Waking up to frost on the ground. Autumn is the favorite season for some.
Unfortunately, I am not one of them.
To me, having lived far too long in the upper Midwest, fall brings to mind only one thing – winter. Then the real fun begins. Digging out your car after a blizzard. Taking four hours to travel a distance that normally takes a half hour because people forget how to drive in the snow. Being cooped up in your house because the temperature hasn’t risen above zero in days. Or worse, bitter freezing days combined with no sun – just a dark, frigid grayness.
Autumn, as the brightly colored harbinger of the cold starkness of winter, always makes me consider my timelines. While I don’t welcome the winter of my life, there is a purpose to it…a deadline – an ending point when all the things I want to do with my life must be completed. So, when autumn’s chill invades the warm frivolity of summer, I ask myself, “In the end, what do I really want to be good at? What do I want my life to mean?”
Deadlines force us to concentrate on what is truly important. Determining your legacy might seem a bit creepy, however, there is great joy and freedom in acquiring a singular laser-focus on what is truly important in life. Developing endurance, discipline and perseverance aren’t easy tasks. Yet, I welcome the hard work since I’ve found establishing this self-control is essential for navigating through the winters of my life, the inevitable winters of my life.
How joyful, how fantastic life is depends on developing the self-control to concentrate on where my life can make a difference. This requires experience coupled with reflection.
Deep, soul-searching reflection gives insight. And it is this insight that causes positive growth and change.
Life holds pain – it is part of loving deeply and living fully. Joy comes from living a life reflecting on all of its experiences and forging a future based on insight.
While I don’t enjoy autumn, seeing the fallen leaves swirling on the ground brings the joy of asking, “What do I want my life to mean?”