Until recently, I'm talking like embarrassingly recently, I perceived my future being one loooong continuation of my present. That is, when I was in college, I truly thought that the rest of my life would be a continuation of the schooling that I was currently engaged in. Biology major leads to medical field leads to PA school leads to career leads to death. Or something less dramatic.
What I mean is, I gave no allowance in my mind that there might be extraneous things that happen that aren't in concordance with the very predictable and boring "leads to" succession. And with that, I never envisioned that my goals, dreams, character, weaknesses, strengths, or attitude would ever be anything more or different than it was at that very moment. Quite on accident, I predicted at age 19 that I would always act and feel and think the way I did… when I was 19.
Well hallelujah praise The Lord THAT isn't true!
I'm learning very clearly that our pasts and our futures are more like a vibrant mosaic of different seasons than one continuous stroke of the present pulled into the future. As I get older I change. I think we all do, a little at least. Those little things that happen, those little decisions you make, those little friendships you form, little adventures you take- those things define us. They change the tint of our seasons. The big things change us too, but those little things- man we just don't give enough credit to how enormously life changing those little things can be.
I've had a couple of big things happen that have changed my seasons. But the little things within those new seasons have defined its tone and importance. Big things change us, little things define us.
In a lot of ways I am a dramatically different person now than I was 5 years ago. The type A planner, driven, academic has transformed into a much more laid back right-brained type. That's right, my brain changed. My nice mental filing cabinet is now more like a watercolor pan of information- definitely less effective, definitely more fun.
Those changes happened through a series of little decisions that I didn't realize were important at the time. Try that art class, learn to say no when it's needed, understand that time at home with baby is valuable, go to bed early, be honest when people ask you how you are, stop cleaning so much (oops), get rid of cable, don't buy brownies whenever you feel like it, stop planning what you're going to eat for dinner (oops again), read fun books. Those are little things. That are also big things.
So for now, for this season, I choose the things that are healing, peaceful, connecting, and artful as my little things. Last season was marked by transition, worry, survival, and hope. Next season the little things will be different, maybe by just a tiny bit, but they will certainly be different.
I'm thankful to see some seasons pass, glad that they didn't go on forever as I thought they might. I'm thankful to see lighter seasons come my way, like this one. I'm grateful for the slow and gentle way God taught me this lesson over time, and glad to have given myself the freedom to change when it was needed. I am content with the understanding that this season won't last forever (which I know for certain it won't as I watch my 18 month old learn to jump up and down in the armchair across the room saying "nonono").
Well, at least I am starting to understand that I should get on board with being content.
Can't change all at once you know.