I find myself in a rut. Is it the season? As the rains of April ready my vegetable garden and, ultimately, push those first buds of spring alive, will I also come alive? We have seasons too: seasons of growth, seasons of stagnation, and seasons of transition. For me, it seems I cycle with the Earth here on Long Island. During the hard, cold, dark winters, you use mental fortitude to fight through the “winter blues,” and you meet the challenge of getting out to socialize when it’s -2 degrees or there is snow, slush and ice on the ground. In the summers, you rise early, drink your green smoothie, hit your hot yoga class or run on the boardwalk, and you head to work or to a day with your kids with an easy smile. Spring—April in particular—is always that transition month. It’s an “exiting” of the ferocious energy that you used to get out there and “get getting” in the winter but yet not quite an “entering” into the easy days of summer.
How do you handle the times in your life that are like April? How are you handling transitioning from work to retirement, or from a home filled with kids (most of whom aren’t even yours) and an endlessly empty refrigerator to an empty nest with halls filled with silence (and rotting food in the fridge)? How about the life transition of health to illness (your own or a loved one’s)? It can be something simple, like an active husband or child that has been sidelined due to an injury. Or—and stay with me for a minute—how about the transition from illness to health? It would seem that would be easy, right? Yet I know so many people that have fought such long battles with cancer and other diseases that when they are finally victorious, they are for a time sad. They were “up” for the fight. They spent all their energy on the “win,” but then think, “It’s done; now what?” I think that’s the thing with April … it is a metaphor for life, an end to winter but not yet the start of summer. April, to me, is the epitome of “it’s done; now what?”
So, how do you plan to spend this “April” (remember, April is a metaphor)? How do you plan to handle the transitions in your life—the periods when things aren’t quite over but haven’t quite begun?
Usually, this is the space where I would write some suggestions or a plan for you the reader, but instead I’ve decided to change it up for this month and leave some blank rows for you to write down the goals, the dreams and the ideas that may make you happy. I am hoping that this little “exercise” helps demonstrate something that I learned just the other day: Dreams are fun, but without putting pen to paper (that’s old school; maybe fingers to keyboard?) you won’t have a plan. And for any successful transition, you NEED to have a plan. As for me, this April I need a plan for my garden, sure, but I need to plan the other transitions as well. I need a plan, and I think you may too!