Lessons learned this summer

Stop and pause with me. Press pause on the intensity and the conflicting priorities. Press pause on the demands and the dreams. Pause to look back and reflect.
At the end of each season, I join Emily Freeman and many others in reflecting on what I have learned before diving into the next season. Sometimes the list is light and frivolous. Sometimes it is joyful. Sometimes it is filled with the hard lessons of life. This list is one of the latter.

  • You can do all the right things and progress still be slow
I was never promised a quick and easy recovery from shoulder surgery but the reality was so much worse than I had been warned about. What was more frustrating was the lack of results and progress despite sticking to my rehab schedule diligently and doing everything that was asked of me. I was reminded that results are not in my control. The wrestle between control and surrender has always been prominent in my life. I started seeing progress when I relaxed the intensity of the rehab and surrendered the push to control the outcome.

  • A new year does not equal refreshed and happy.
I have already written and reflected on this in this post. It has remained true as the year has kept rolling. The new year has brought deep heartache and ongoing challenges. I am having to dig into deep wells to seek refreshment and peace. Maybe the same is true for you this year. Don’t be discouraged or dismiss the good in the midst of the hard. You will get through this year as will I. Maybe we’ll even be stronger for it on the other side.

  • Walking an anxious, deeply empathetic 6-year old through the death of a loved one can be brutally hard.
My heart is still processing this one. I don’t feel I have the words yet for this journey as we are still in the thick of it. Maybe one day I will.

  • I need to be able to clean and organise for my headspace to be calm.
One of the most frustrating ongoing elements of shoulder surgery recovery has been the limitations around housework. I’m not saying that I love doing chores but I have a new appreciation for the role that being able to clean and organise has in relieving my stress and settling my headspace.

  • I can be a summer person when it stays mild!
We have had a very mild summer here in Perth, Western Australia, compared to our usual temperatures. I for one am not complaining.

  • It is usually the simple things that bring grief flooding in.
My daughter finished the last “Nanna biscuit” today. The last biscuit that my grandmother ever baked. Part of me wanted to keep it sitting there indefinitely. It was hard to see it go and be another reminder that she isn’t here. Harder still when my daughter asked, “Who will be able to bake biscuits like these for me now that are as good as these ones?”.

No matter what life looks like for you right now, I pray that you are able to embrace it- the fun, the hard, the brutal and everything in between. I am learning to savour experiences and walk through them not do everything I can to numb or distract out of them. Maybe that is a journey you are on as well.

You can read what others have learned in the link up on Emily Freeman’s blog here.