The Old Farmer’s Almanac claims that summer doesn’t end until September 22nd when the autumnal equinox signals the sun crossing the celestial equator. For me, summer ends when the Chautauqua season ends, which happened yesterday.
At our weekly Sunday evening service, the end of the 2013 season was made official with a ceremonial three taps of a gavel. Of course it seemed official before that. Saturday night was the final concert in the historical amphitheater (Amy Grant) and by then the crowd had thinned and seats were easily available. Children were already scarce this week as many of them had already gone back to school in their home communities. My husband is off sailing with friends because soon all the boats will be docked or stored for the winter. And while the fall colors aren’t yet in evidence, we’ll see them soon enough.
The summer was a good one here, although busy for us as we completed renovations and tried to literally put our house in order. The end of season heralded the return of contractors, and we’re now repairing my study ceiling and replacing floor that was damaged by a leaking air-conditioner. Time moves forward but before it does, I want to look backward just a little.
The passing of a season is a good time to assess a life. Maybe you’ll join me? What did your summer teach you?
- I learned that worrying about outcomes is a waste of time. Rather I should say I was reminded during renovation. Most things that go wrong can be fixed, like the ceiling in my study, and when they can’t, many times we can just move on. But worrying doesn’t change a thing except for the moments we spend when we could be more productive. I’ve gotten much better this summer about letting go and letting things unfold as they’re bound to.
- I learned that taking time for myself makes me more productive. I learned to stop feeling guilty if I’m not working every minute. I’m trying to set reasonable goals and give myself credit for meeting them. This isn’t easy when you work at home and you don’t punch a time clock. But it’s doable.
- I learned to be proud of my older books. As you know, this summer I’ve re-released some of the books I wrote in the 1980s as ebooks. I’ll confess I wasn’t sure I wanted them back in print, since what I write now is quite different. But as I read them, I realized how much I still loved these stories. Yes, were I writing them today, there might be changes. But I immediately fell back in love with the characters and the settings, remembering the enthusiasm I’d had then and sharing in it again.That was a gift. After all if I don’t like my own writing, who will?
- I learned I can work under the craziest circumstances. This was another reminder. Let’s face it, I started my career with four young children in my house It doesn’t get crazier than that. But it’s nice to remember that I can work when the ceiling is literally coming down on my head. That’s comforting, because sometimes that’s what it takes.
- I learned that now that the decision making is over, we’ve made great choices for our future. (See number one). In fact I learned just how lucky I am to be following this path, making new friends, falling in love with my new communities.
I’m looking forward to the seasons ahead. Seasons when books will be completed and new books started, seasons when I’ll get to know more of you as you post on my Facebook page or comment here or email with questions or comments.
So what did you learn this summer? Are you thinking about it? Please feel free to share.