Every year we embrace September as the time of year when we “get back into routine”, when we step into the ease of knowing what each day will bring. For many of us, September is when the real “New Year” begins!
And this September, similar to last year which was filled with hope and uncertainty, there will be one thing we can absolutely count on, one thing that has been constant since before the pandemic…CHANGE! You can “hang your hat on it”, rely on it and in time, hopefully learn to appreciate and get good at it!
You may have noticed over the past couple of weeks, the pull, the excitement of getting back to “normal” and then all of a sudden remember that what you are stepping into this September is (again) a brand new world…
Whether you have kids or not, September is when vacations end and people all come back to their desks, sign up for their groups and clubs, when dinners are planned and we’re in bed at a “decent hour”. And this year, we may sign back up for everything and it won’t look or feel like anything we’re used to.
And as a result of not having routines or habits to fall into, we will need to be consciously aware of every moment and decision. And, if you’re like me, you’re exhausted just thinking about the energy that will consume.
Without the habit of thriving through change…we often adopt the mindset that we must “survive” it!
Biologically speaking, our minds are not meant to be paying attention to every detail and action, and so we build habits; we allow 90% of our day to “happen” unconsciously because it takes less energy, less bandwidth and we can then use our energy and awareness to address what is new and unknown. And when too much is new and unknown, we experience that uncomfortable feeling of overwhelm!
My friend, we are stepping into yet another September of having less routines to fall back on and we will need every ounce of energy to continue to process all of the uncertainty the “constant” of change will be throwing at us.
Over the years, summer has taught us how to (in the short term) operate with less routines and habits, how to fly by the seat of our pants, take advantage of every ray of light, every weekend and every opportunity. And it’s a finite system…we are not designed to function that way for long periods of time. It’s why around the last week of August, many of us start to quietly wish for sweater weather and pumpkin spice. It’s why brisk mornings and seeing school supplies in the stores, brings on a sigh of relief. These signs that “September is coming” remind us that the pace we’ve been trying to maintain will soon come to an end.
And this year that relief, that hope you’re looking for, no matter how hard you try to wrap your hands around it, is going to slip through your fingers like sand…Notice what you are trying to hold on to, watch for your need to settle back into what September is supposed to feel like, and make sure it doesn’t keep you from noticing how things are not the same.
This is not the September you’re used to.
My advice is, acknowledge how even though you are re-establishing “routines”, they won’t be the same as they once were. There is so much that is changing inside and around everything we do…planning and executing life will take way more energy, more time and more of your conscious awareness. Acknowledge the constant of change and challenge yourself to focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t.
To quote Glennon Doyle, “We can do hard things”.
Tackling the newness that this September will bring, and staying focused on what you can control means you NEED to carve out time for you. Time to decompress, time to process, time to reflect and most importantly time to do very little. Schedule yourself in…every day!
It may seem like a crazy idea or something that sounds good in theory. And you’re right it might be a crazy idea and good in theory…it is also worth exploring. Because you my friend are worth it! And the people in your world, that you love, need you to be aligned, energized and connected with your best and highest self.
So get enough sleep, drink all the water and remind yourself to take a deep breath. Create more art, hug your people and prioritize your happiness. Notice where your inner critic tries to chime in and play with the idea that you can trust yourself to do the next right thing. Beyond that, practice self-forgiveness + self-love, and lead with compassion + curiosity. We are all doing the best we can with what we have and that includes you!
Yes, I love September too and I love routines.
And this year I am turning my love inward. Because I want to always love September and have routines to embrace, and that will mean I accept where I am and do the work to build new habits…specifically the habit of thriving through change!
We are in this together my friend!
Reach out, I’ve got tools + strategies to help you get through this new level of uncertainty. And I know what it feels like to secretly want to escape your life, just for a moment, simply so that you can survive it. It’s time to align your thoughts and actions to what matters most to you and through the unknown, uncertainty and “newness” of it all, find your path and learn to thrive through change!
You’ve Got This + I’ve Got You