Autumn’s Lessons

Autumn is the season that reminds me of renewal, hope, and a fresh start.

Although spring is often considered a time of renewal, for me it’s autumn that is a time of fresh starts.  

As a kid, it was getting that new binder, with its new binder smell, freshly sharpened pencils, and a working set of markers that convinced me a fresh start was possible.

As a mom, the promise of new beginnings carries over into my children’s lives. Through the years of last-minute scrambling to stuff backpacks with the required school supplies. Many of them not used or lost.

And then there’s the one September when my youngest daughter started Grade One, and when autumn’s possibility of renewal prodded me to return to school.

Up until then, I’d been a small business owner for seven years. But I just couldn’t imagine myself continuing for the next twenty years. So, after much soul-searching, I enrolled in university.

The rhythms of autumn—going to class, taking notes, doing homework—would flow for me and my kids for another seven years.    

Not every adult’s autumn journey includes school. Truthfully, so many of the most important lessons in life are not learned anywhere near a school.  But wherever life’s lessons are learned—at home, at work, or in a relationship—I’ve found that staying open to learning is a key ingredient to living a meaningful life.

The most meaningful learning experiences are those that allow us to see things in a new light. The moments that shed insight on the things we value. The times that prompt us stay curious.

So as the days get shorter and the nights get longer this Autumn season, find moments to ‘press pause.’ Stay curious. Reflect on all you’ve learned. And look for opportunities to grow.