Here in the United States we recently celebrated Memorial Day; a day to honor those who have served and died in the U.S. Armed Forces. For many, Memorial Day is also a reminder that we are coming into a new season of the year.
Before this year, that shift in the season included schools being out for the summer (in most places), plans made for summer vacations and getaways, camping in state parks, road trips, BBQs with friends and family, hanging out at the neighborhood pool, going to summer camp, and so much more.
While I likely realized it on some level, it hit me in a deeper way over the Memorial Day weekend that I have no idea what to expect for this summer. It feels like I’m walking into a whole new season of uncertainty. And, with that new season of uncertainty comes another wave of disquiet and grief.
Perhaps you’ve been feeling this, as well?
It’s as if I started to settle into a new normal and now it’s starting to shift again — and I’m realizing even more of what will be different for me this year.
We’ve all been doing our best to find our new normal and establish routines that will support us, our families, and our work in the last few months. And, while we may have gotten to the point of acceptance with our new normal — or possibly even liking it — it took us a while to get there.
The seasons of the year herald change not just in the external physical environment, but also in our internal patterns, our sense of days and time, our expectations of our energy, and how we will spend our days.
We may be unaware of the full spectrum of changes that happen within us during the changing seasons; just know that they are happening and will impact you whether you realize it on a fully conscious level or not.
For instance, I find it much easier to wake early in the mornings during the summer than I do in the winter. It happens naturally for me, likely due to much more sunlight. I also find that I have a more challenging time sticking to a schedule during the summer than I do other times of the year. There are lots of reasons for that: spending a large majority of my life in education, where summers were “off”; wanting to take advantage of the glorious weather and be outside playing; and so on.
You may be realizing that there is much more change (and change fatigue) ahead of you as you find your way through another season with COVID messing with your plans. You may be grieving the loss of things that you had planned for the coming season. On top of that, our own energies, regardless of what is happening in the external world, change from season to season. That’s a lot of change happening at once.
As we move into a new season of uncertainty, be kind and gentle with yourself. If you are feeling more unsettled as the season starts to change, know that it is normal and OK. Allow the feelings to flow and know that, just as with the last season, you have it within you to find your footing and create your new normal.