This is one of my favorite times of the year. I love this season where the daylight last longer, the days are warm, and nights greet us in ways that can only be experienced in the summer. For me, this time is a mark in a change of seasons (literally and metaphorically speaking). In my book, I spoke about how I spent my first summer in Chicago working, and working, and working. I said yes to everything and in doing so, relinquished the power of my no.
A friend of mine who just finished up his Masters degree called the time he was studying in school as a “season of sacrifice.” I agree, I have been in that season before. The season of sacrifice is that time where we work; knowing that the deeds we are planting will yield strong fruit in the future. Well if I may take some liberties I would offer there are some other seasons beyond sacrifice…there are two other seasons that come to mind for me, there is the season of harvest and the season of play.
I have accomplished a lot in a short amount of time on earth, and while I am proud of what I have done, it has not come without its cost. Days playing at the beach, catching up on trivial pieces of pop culture, and spending days filled with unplanned activities are long-lost friends that I need to reintroduce myself to. Some call this mix of work and play balance; I like to refer to it as the conscious exercise of making sure I stay on target with my purpose, by engaging in play when necessary to maintain my passion.
We all are invited to see what season we are entering into. As I write this blog, there is someone else who has spent long days of play, and feels restless knowing that the power of their potential has not been met. For that individual the season is different, it might be time to put down that US Weekly, or that margarita by the beach and pick up a book, a job application, or a pair of running shoes to make a lifestyle change. For me, I have found the perfect indicator of when it is time for my season to change, its called jealousy.
Whenever I am jealous of the circumstances of someone else, I know my season needs to change. I would go on social media and see friends having such fun, or strangers running along the beach as I drove home from work, both sights would make me enraged, I would ask myself, “ how do they get to have so much fun when I am having to sit and do this, or do that” - at the time I was agitated, now I am grateful. That jealousy was life giving me the greatest indicator that I was living in a season I no longer should be in. I was complaining not because of mandated responsibilities of my job, but because of volunteer experiences that I had signed myself up for. We all have seasons, and if you find yourself like me, and jealous of the position of someone else, don’t sit and stew in that energy, allow it to be the necessary fuel to find the courage to do something new.
I am pretty confident there are no gold stars coming my way in the months ahead. I work in a field where there are numerous leadership opportunities, and I have served in several, but this is not the season for that. I recognize as time goes on, I will not be the key figure at the table of many different areas that I hold interest in, and that’s ok. – its not my season.
Just as winter comes after fall, spring after winter, so too will come another season where sacrifice and work will be part of my life’s call, but for now, I sit…I take in my own season of summer, I begin the daunting process of untangling my worth from a laundry list of accomplishments. I sit. I grab a book, a margarita (perhaps two) and allow myself to bask in the season that is before me now.