Necessary endings

It’s fall y’all as the saying goes. Everywhere I go I notice the signs of the season changing. we went on a walk earlier today and the leaves have turned a beautiful plum and burnt orange color. The girls were playing their favorite new game, collecting all the fallen leaves to make a big pile to roll spring in the yard. We also had our first cold snap, with temperatures plunging into the 30s and we had to actually turn on our heat for the first time this season (gasp!).

The weather isn’t the only thing changing around here. It’s no secret in our household that autumn is my favorite season. What’s not to love? Football, family, food. They all come together for a glorious season, and at the end of it you’ve got the added anticipation of the holidays and a new year. For me, fall has also marked the time where I begin to take stock of the current years progress, and make plans for the year ahead. I like to get a jump start on reflection and intention setting. For me, the fall is my season of reset. It just so happens that this year, there’s more than usual at stake.

Fall is known for something else as well. It’s a season where things start to die, leaves fall off their trees, the grass begins to brown. It’s a necessary transition to make way for the fallow time of winter, ultimately restoring the earth for the rebirth of spring. Everything in its own time right?

In order to make the most of endings, you have to normalize them. It’s common to think of endings as negative occurrences, that’s why we tend to avoid them. But as soon as we see endings as normal, then we have no reason to be afraid and run away from them.

I recently started reading the book Necessary Endings, by Dr. Henry Cloud. I kept hearing about this book from multiple podcasts and I figured, it must be calling my attention for some reason. It could not have come at a better time (don’t you love it when life aligns like that?). In it Dr. Cloud writes:

I’m on the precipice of an ending myself professionally. It’s actually been a long time in the making, which surprisingly doesn’t make it any easier. Typically I hold on to things for too long, often past their sell by date for reasons of nostalgia or out of fierce loyalty. This characteristic of mine hasn’t always served me well, though I recognize the competing commitments I have between wanting to grow and valuing stability. At any rate, I’m working on normalizing transitions, because I realize that every transition serves as a bridge to the next great experience of life.

And while it’s bittersweet for sure to move on from something that I’ve invested time, energy, and relationships into, it’s also comforting to look back and see what’s been accomplished. At the same time, I’m thrilled (and nervous?) about what’s next. In order to begin anew, some things have to change. In my case, something had to end in order to make room for new beginnings.

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