Just as I turned on the TV, hoping to catch Amanda Gorman’s poem dedicated to essential workers before the Super Bowl kickoff, these words by Vince Lombardi punched me in the face: “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”
I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery since the sudden loss of my parents over three years ago. This season of grief pushed me to take stock of my own life and ask myself some difficult questions. Am I who I would hope to be? What in my life is wasting my time, draining my energy and stealing my peace? Will I leave this place better than I found it?
With my 50th birthday fast approaching, I’ve been reflecting on life and its seasons. Just as the earth experiences spring, summer, fall and winter, so do our lives.
Cycle of Growth
We are born into the spring, ready to grow and mature. Into our twenties, we consume all the nourishment spring life has to offer: family and friendships, education, mentorship and unique interests. This is the season of learning and discovering who we are and what we want out of life. Spring begins to shape our character through decisions and actions rooted in curiosity and at times, selfishness. As we cultivate our values and beliefs, a transition starts happening into the next season.
In the summer, we lay down our seeds and take action. We further build our education, develop relationships, start our families, build our homes. We invest in our careers and our businesses. We go hard. We produce, we create, we innovate. The deep relationships we nurture in the summertime of our life, the work we choose to do, how we spend our time and who we become all contribute to the making of our harvest: our legacy.
In the fall of our life, we reap what we’ve sown. This is a season of both dealing with our past failures and enjoying the benefits of our good choices and hard work. Fall brings even deeper relationships with our loved ones. It gives us opportunities to mentor others in earlier seasons and share our own experiences of mistakes and successes. Fall demands us to be open to inevitable changes in our family, our health and life in general, as we may find ourselves guiding our children into adulthood while caring for our aging parents.
Then comes the cold of winter, bringing a sense of longing for the days past. It begs us to slow down and tests our strength. It is a season of rest—a season of reflection of our life’s choices.
As I enter the fall of my life, I’m learning that each season is teaching me lessons about myself, about others and about life in general. The beauty and hardship of the past seasons are transforming me physically, mentally and emotionally. They’re strengthening my soul and teaching me resilience in the face of adversity. They’re bringing me rich experiences—making space for joy, peace and wisdom.
I’m thankful for the seasons of my simple life. I’m humbled to have the opportunity to grow and evolve. And I’m proud of who I am becoming. PM