A Guest Blog by Stephanie Mitchell of Vandalia, Ohio
Spring always gets all of the accolades for being a season of renewal, of birth and growth. But Fall is equally important, yet I think we never take the time to see it because the days of Fall, as they proceed into Winter, are marked with sunlight hours rapidly decreasing every day. But because Fall allows the planet to restore itself, taking all of the energy it built up through the Summer and beginning the renewal process of creating the building blocks required to launch beautifully in the Spring, I tend to look at Fall as a time to restore oneself: gathering the physical and emotional strength to make it through another day, another season, another year.
Daisy and Stephanie
I celebrated my 45th birthday this month and planned a trip to learn to ski in Vail, Colorado in November. Why did I choose to do that? Because I can. That’s why. I am not going to the warm tropical beaches of the Caribbean; which is what I normally do this time of year. Why did I choose to do that? Well, I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to enjoy those locales almost every year. This trip, however, I made about giving myself a gift that I could use to restore me and my sense of self. I have always had an inkling to learn to ski for years. Why not do it now? I’m an empty-nester with a son away at college; I’m single, my immediate family lives a minimum of three-hours away (and more, with my mom in FL); and with the only thing stopping me being myself. So, why not? I tend to look at experiencing events in life in one of three ways: it will either be a good time, a good story, or – if you’re lucky – both. With this trip, and with myself in mind, I’m sure to experience both.
With that recent birthday, I began to realize that I could look at my life (rapidly approaching the 50-yr mark) and look at things negatively based on where I am in my life (single, living alone). Or, I could choose to look at my life the way in which I look at this time of year: birthdays are solely a day in time that permit us to unselfishly focus on ourselves, while renewing our lives for another year on this planet.
Just like Spring (in my humble opinion), Fall has its share of beauty, with its gorgeous display of the colors of Autumnal leaves. And while we watch those leaves fall to the ground and immediately think of the season ending, I choose to think of Fall as the planet’s own preparation for Spring’s renewal and rebirth. Which is also how I choose to look at my birthday and this new season of my life that I have entered. Whether your birthday occurs in the Fall or it doesn’t, whether your MS is active or inactive, CHOOSE to create your own renewal and rebirth on your birthday. Or every day.
Remember, whether it is physically, emotionally or mentally; let’s be “all-in” this life versus not in it at all. Instead of seasons of closure, let’s have continuous seasons of beginnings in our lives.
The views, endorsements, and opinions of the guest blogger do not necessarily reflect the views of the National MS Society. If you would like to be a guest blogger, please email Rich Walburg.