We are at the start of a new season. I love the beginning of a new school year. Any trip to get new notebooks makes me happy! Often, we leave summer behind and go head first into the next season. We do not stop to pause and acknowledge that we are in a transition.
That transition could be a new school, a kid at college, new doctors, or homeschooling for the first time. With each recent change, we often have big hopes for our kids. We want things to improve, and we hope the doctor will have a new treatment or the therapist will make a breakthrough. We pray that our child will make friends and be included or the IEP will be helpful. Sometimes, in our hopes for what we want and worry about what could happen, we forget to see today’s progress.
Here’s an example from my life. Last week was my youngest daughter’s first day of her senior year. This is a big transition. She is the youngest of our six, and this is our last year of high school! I took a picture of her on her first day; while getting her to school and taking that picture, my mind was preoccupied with my worries for the new school year. I want her to have good friends, be mentally stable, and do well. I lamented that she was not enjoying school and had no friends last year. It has been a rough few years. As she exited the car for the first day, she said, “Thanks for driving me, Mom. I love you.”
This may seem like a typical mom-and-daughter interaction, but it is not. Not if you are a parent of a child with attachment issues. Most mornings, she is silent and slams the door.
While worrying about everything, I was so focused on what I hoped for her I almost missed this small moment of progress.
I do not want to miss moments of progress because I am too busy looking ahead for future growth or worried about what might go wrong.
We need to stop and reflect to be attentive to those moments of progress. When we reflect, we notice what we may have missed in the busyness of life. What kind of transition are you going through? It’s helpful to stop and pause whatever transition you find yourself in. The following questions may help.
1. What brought me joy in this past season?
2. What growth did I see?
3. What am I anticipating for this next season?
4. What do I want to bring into this next transition that will bring me joy and peace?
These questions can help you pause before going to the next thing on your to-do list and reflect and notice your life’s goodness, joy, and growth.