Here’s the Thing: Growing season

Spring looks like a rough season around here.

Everything melts and our area looks a bit apocalyptic. This is the time of year when old things melt away and new things bloom. It can be a bit muddy during the transition, but change is in the air. As the sun shines and everything hidden comes to light, it becomes easier to figure out what needs to get cleaned and what needs to get thrown out. The seasons change naturally, so being prepared isn’t always on our minds until it happens.

People are like that. We change by accident, on purpose, or naturally over time. Now that the radiant sun has made it’s big appearance I can’t help but feel energized. My skin gets darker, it feels warm, and vitamin D makes me happy. The winter skin feels like it has been shed off and now it’s a new me. The sun is always around, but during spring she hypnotized everyone into forgetting the past three months. Winter feels like watching a billion commercials and summer is when the show finally starts. During February when you walk around the grocery store everyone looks a little dead on the inside. During April everyone seems to look a little more alive. Nothing makes me happier than watching other people wake up from a dull slumber only to stand under the dreamy, electric sun.

Transformation can have a recipe, like taking a lot of basic ingredients to eventually create a delicious cake. Or it happens naturally like when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. Both take time and patience. During the process it’s easy to appreciate advice and guidance, because you know you need it. You can feel the shift. Most pregnant ladies read everything they can on pregnancy, delivery, and babies. It’s a 9 month process so they’ve got time to learn. However a lot of us get cocky and think we can wing it, because it’s only natural. Then after your baby is born you have no idea what massacre just happened and why you’re crying more than the newborn. It’s a lot to handle. For me I need a lot of support during change or it can get overwhelming.

Growth is what I aim for during a season of change. Growth, development, and adjusting in a positive way. Rarely do I change for the worse, but the older I get the more I’m starting to recognize it happens. I don’t want to settle into anything negative, which is real. It happens slowly too, which is tricky. Like a bad habit that doesn’t bother you much until your fingernails are bitten down to finger stumps. Or you smoke a pack of cigarettes, it sticks, and twenty years later running a marathon seems out of the question. I mean it happens. We make decisions we’re not prepared for sometimes, that’s life. Rarely do I ponder the things I would’ve done differently, because it feels like a waste of a time. Yet for some reason it’s always easier to recall the bad choices. Especially at 2 am when your brain is like, this seems like a good time to go over my past mistakes. No one wants to have a tea party with the skeletons in their closet at 2 am. So if you feel like things are changing, get in front of it with the support you need.

My favorite kind of change happens mentally with a perspective shift. It takes what’s already there and you choose what happens next. For example there is value in failure. It can help push you to success if you can use it as a tool, but as a young person it was easy to get frustrated in a negative situation because you weren’t on the other side of it yet. Taking the good from the bad can be constructive, but it’s hard lesson. How can you create an opportunity from your mistakes? Do you need to work harder or work smarter? Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, until you can do what you want to do. As long as you’re growing in the right direction, go easy on yourself.

Here’s the thing: As we shift into another season of life try thinking of how to bring positive re-enforcement during the journey. When you go on a hike, you have a map, rations, and an emergency pack. When I go to the store I have a crumpled list and good intentions. I’m far from perfect. Setting your mind on which direction you’re going sometimes means work. You must prepare. Spring clean up is here. With change in life, good or bad, get in front of it by having the tools and support you need to get where you’re trying to go.

Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at columnkasi@gmail.com.

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