Changing seasons always feel a little nostalgic to me. Summer is on its way into fall and the beaches, the sand, the picnics, and outdoor fun are ending in what seems like a minute. Fall makes its appearance in shades of orange, yellow, and brown. It nudges summer out of the way with smells of burning leaves, fire pits and crisp air.
You know this change is coming, but it still always feels like it’s overnight. It’s like life; you can look forward to an event, like a wedding, and it’s so far away…and then it’s over! It’s also like a stage in life; you wait and wait for your child to walk and then it’s happened and it’s like they’ve walked forever! You wait for your graduation and then Boom! You’re working and into the next phase of life.
These seasonal changes are affecting me differently as I age. The seasons are coming faster and the next one is right around the corner. I am trying to think of what’s most important to me that I want to accomplish. I’m putting more thought into what will make me happy. I’m trying to be more conscious of my time and do what I value the most. Throughout our lives, there are so many things that we must do that is seems that we rarely get to make a conscious decision of what we want to do.
Now and then it’s a good idea to sit down and look at what we’re doing and where we want to go and who we want to be. How do we get there? What priorities should we have in place and what do we have to do to make those things happen?
As we wind down from summer into fall, and then winter, I think it’s a great time to take stock of where we are and where we want to be for a while. Do what you have to, sure, but try to also do what’s important to you and what makes you happy!
Throughout our lives, we come across times of change, whether we looked for it or not and whether we want it or not. Obviously, how we react to these changes will affect the next portion of our life.
Some changes are easier to react to than others. For instance, if we actively decide to make a change for the better (new job with better hours, more pay, or a better location or a new house/apartment, new relationship, etc.), the change is much easier to live with. You’ve made the choice yourself and you’re benefiting from the change in a positive way. Does this mean everything is rosy? Nope. Continue reading “Change Happens, Ready or Not”
Interestingly enough, there are protests being held both in the United States and in South Korea regarding the behavior of the president (or president-elect).
In South Korea, there are more than 500,000 people peacefully protesting in Seoul to demand the president’s resignation. Their president has apologized twice for the scandal involving a long-time friend that was getting advance policy information with which to advise the president on a number of state affairs. The friend had no experience or official position and has been accused of an abuse of power and fraud. It is believed by some that the president is simply a mouthpiece of several others making decisions behind the scenes. According to a demonstrator: “It’s an explosion of their feelings,” demonstrator Jinwon Kim says of the crowds. “People are very angry.”
Back here in the United States, we are also experiencing protests in various cities throughout the country about our recent presidential election. Thousands of people are marching in the streets carrying the message of “Not My President”. These protests appear to be unprecedented in American history. The protesters are acting on their displeasure with the president-elect’s behavior, words, and decisions. This election has been singular in the negative, angry, threatening and divisive remarks being made throughout the campaign. I think most of our country has agreed on that. The fact that our new president-elect has made so many Americans feel unwelcome, angry, frightened, and unsafe is turning into a big problem for him and the people are letting him know how they feel. This is key-we have to acknowledge people’s feelings, whether we agree with them or not and whether we believe they are justified or not. It doesn’t matter how each of us feels; we need to respect everybody’s right to express their opinion. THIS is the American way.
We hoped that whoever won the election would move forward in a much more positive manner, one that we could all get behind and believe in. The fact that our votes were almost 50-50 obviously leaves half of us unhappy with the current president-elect. What’s more American than protesting your dissatisfaction? We are given the right to do this…peacefully. There are positives for protesting. We are letting Mr. Trump know that we are watching him, watching his choices, his actions, and his words (both tweeted and spoken). We are going to hold him and his staff accountable for the promises he made, for pulling the country together and moving forward on a positive path. It appears that, to date, he is not following the standard protocol in his actions…not about staffing choices, business matters, publicity and transparency, nor his communications. I believe this is why people are now protesting. I think most of us would like to believe that he will, very soon, become the person that we all want to have as president. He has this one moment in history to make the right choices. We’re all hoping that he does the right things.
This accountability is important and something that should be an ongoing process, not just when we’re unhappy about something. We should all be watching the people that make decisions that directly affect us. If you disagree with something, voice your opinion, become active in the cause, write a letter, make a phone call, and effect change. Contact your member of Congress! There is always work to be done at the local government level, which is what affects our daily lives in so many ways. Getting involved is so important because it not only allows you some control in how your life is affected, but keeps you informed about the issues as well. If we are all more involved in this process, we won’t need to rely on hearsay, Facebook, internet and television news stories that may or not be factual. We will be educated participants in the process and be able to make informed choices on issues.
In most recent history, the Black Lives Matter movement was more prominent. Do we all know what that was about? Certainly…because it was out there, it was talked about, it was acted on, even if not always apparent. This is how we, as Americans and South Koreans alike, can express our opinion, hold people accountable, and make change when necessary. It indicates exactly how we feel about something and it needs to be acknowledged. This is obviously a world-wide form of communication and one that is effective. Protests, in whatever form they take, should always be acknowledged and taken seriously.
Children, like seasons, should be enjoyed in the moment. Isn’t it funny how fast time seems to go by? With kids, it seems like we just keep waiting for them to do the next thing, like going from a baby to a toddler, from playing in the park to playing in the schoolyard. The seasons seem to follow this same pattern. We keep waiting for the next holiday season to roll around before we’ve even enjoyed this one! I refuse to be pulled into this. I want to enjoy each stage and each season while I’m in it.
I just now saw a commercial on TV for Christmas tree lights! It’s still September, right? We have the two major holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving before Christmas rolls around. I absolutely love the fall season and I am going to continue to enjoy it without thinking about Christmas. In fact, I’m not even thinking about Halloween or Thanksgiving yet. I’m going to enjoy the colors, the smells, and the beautiful changes of this season while it’s here, without thinking about the next three holidays coming up. I’m almost ready to include Halloween and, in fact, I bought candy yesterday but that’s mostly so that I can eat it myself over the next 4 ½ weeks.
Similarly, when you have a baby and you’re sitting in the dark silence of the night, you’re waiting for the time when he sleeps through the night. Once that happens, you’re waiting for him to crawl, then to walk. Stop, though, and take a moment to enjoy each one of those stages of his life. It doesn’t seem like this middle of the night crying or exhaustion would leave much for you to appreciate, but you will never be that close to your baby again. It’s just you and him. Nothing else in the world matters but that. Enjoy that time. Very soon, you will be just a part of their world, not their entire world. Hug him, love him, and appreciate those quiet (and loud) moments between just the two of you. Keep doing that through every single stage. Enjoy each and every season of his life for what it is.
To me, it seems like these three holidays coming up are a lot like children going from your arms to going to school; it seems like it happens so quickly! Take the time to appreciate each and every step. Try not to rush it along or let it pass you by while you wait for the next milestone. I liken the long, cold, dark stretch of winter between Christmas and Memorial Day to the adolescent stage of kids. If any of you have had teens, I think you’ll know why. That time seems like it will never end! Have faith; just like the seasons this, too, will pass and continue on as it has forever. Try not to rush it along; work to create some of those moments that you will want to remember for years to come. This season is just as important, if not more so, than any other. Celebrate it with them and enjoy the moments because this season, too, will pass.