Fall is in full swing. For many, another new school year has now shifted into high gear, and the resurgence of energy that often comes with new schedules and routines has started to wear off. And for most of us, the end of the year deadlines with our long list of unfinished projects and partially accomplished goals are barreling at us like a freight train. This is the time of year when already full agendas start to burst at the seams as we grow painfully aware the holidays and their respective gatherings, traditions, and activities are quickly approaching.
This is also the time of year when many of us desperately long for the opportunity to spend a crisp fall day sitting in front of a blazing fire, cozied up with a favorite blanket, a good book, and a hot cup of coffee, or the opportunity to carelessly walk through nature enjoying the magnificent colors of the changing leaves and the brisk wind on our face. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that most of us are running from a frenzied home to a bustling office, then rushing out to chauffeur our kiddos to the next activity and back home in time to scarf down some food before bedtime routines begin. There’s little time to sit, reflect, think, or enjoy the season and our favorite people because our schedules are tight and our plates are full.
We rarely have enough margin in our schedules to absorb a traffic jam that delays our arrival at the next destination, let alone be able to take 15 minutes to grab a book or enjoy a brisk walk to recharge ourselves. How much more energy, focus, and passion could we bring to our most important people and priorities, if we only took a few moments each week to allow ourselves to recharge? In order to find that space and time, we need only to look around us at the gorgeous reds, yellows, and oranges splashed on the trees for inspiration. They are popping with vibrant colors, drawing our attention and admiration as they prepare their most important job this fall: TO LET GO!!!!
The trees know the importance of letting go. These wise trees in this season of life know if they hold onto their leaves as they move into winter, they will not be able to bear the weight of the coming snow and ice without breaking. Will YOU be able to the bear all that is coming at you in the coming months without breaking if you continue to hold on to all that you have? Let me encourage you to re-evaluate your priority list and identify those things of which you could consider letting go. You don’t have to let go forever, but maybe just for this season. How much lighter could your load feel if you were to decline some opportunities, projects, or events that aren’t in perfect alignment with your critical priorities? How much stronger will you feel if you aren’t exhausted from the burden of carrying extra obligations, commitments, and activities that deplete your energy and overwhelm your schedule? How much more joy and fulfillment will you have if you can focus your energy on your most critical people and priorities as 2018 comes to a close?
Make a commitment to yourself and to those who are most important to you to not experience one more frenzied, chaotic, and exhausting holiday season at the end of this year. You and your people are worth it. We only need to look at the beautiful fall trees to see how lovely it is to let go.