Boom! There it is – winter!

Window2

Some years winter comes in slowly. You get a few chilly days and you can feel it in the air. You have a rain storm and for a few minutes you notice it has turned to flakes and then back again. But oh no, not this year, this year New Englanders can clearly mark November 2 on their calendars as the day they woke up to winter!

Too bad my appointment to put my snow tires on isn’t until the 15th! Looks like I’m staying in today.

How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.
Spanish Proverb

Transitions in life can be similar. Sometimes, they come on so slowly we don’t notice for years on end that anything has changed. Other times, boom, you wake up one morning and every single thing about your life has changed, ready or not.

For some of my friends, Wednesday morning will be very much like today. They will wake up and everything will be different. They will suddenly BE a city councilor, or a state representative, or hopefully a congresswoman or the first probate judge in Penobscot County, and ready or not here they go! For others, they make wake up and find out they are no longer in the elected position they were the day before and it will be time to reassess and come up with a new plan!

In middle age, there is nothing any of us are more familiar with than the unpredictability of life. You can work and plan, study, commit, plot, scheme and fail or succeed depending on the day but in the long run, something unexpected or unplanned for almost always happens. Suddenly you find that everything is different. Sometimes that difference is unpleasant, but sometimes that difference is wonderful. Sometimes, that difference is an opportunity you couldn’t possibly have seen when you were plotting and scheming! Sometimes that difference is the thing you wanted most of all, but never knew it until that very minute.

If you’ve had a life that has contained heartbreak or pain, you often fill your life to the brim with “busy” in an attempt to plan for every possible future situation. We don’t allow ourselves time to just be. We don’t allow ourselves time to heal, or think, or grow or be creative.  We figure if we plan enough, we can control the outcome and we can avoid future disaster. No matter how many times this theory is proven wrong, we keep trying. We keep trying to control everything.

We forget, again, that the only thing we have control of is the couple inches around our own personal space. Everything else, and everyone else, is beyond our ability to control, or fix, or save, or keep.

This is why I love a snow day. I love a day when all my plans have to be put aside, when the roads are bad and I have a guilt free excuse to stay home and accomplish nothing, which is often, the most important thing I do need to accomplish, right now.

When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.
Chinese Proverb

Karen Foley

About Karen Foley

Karen Foley, has successfully been writing her blog for the BDN since May 2011. By successful, she means a few people read it, and she has not been sued, stalked or fired since starting it.