Something Feels Different

Life is beginning to feel different. I am not exactly sure what is happening to make it feel this way, though if I were to take a guess or formulate a theory, three things come to mind. The first one is the calendar has turned to March, which signals several changes including more intense sunshine, the formal seasonal turn from winter to spring, and my birthday. This type of difference happens annually around this time of year and the phenomenal amount of sunshine we have enjoyed this week has made it extra noticeable. Although we will feel more cold blasts of winter before spring fully arrives, at this point in the winter it feels like spring will definitely come.

The second thing making it feel different is it feels like the pandemic, which we have endured for almost two full years, is changing as restrictions ease up and numbers drop. It is too early to say whether this is the end of the pandemic. There have been several times over the duration of the pandemic when we have been lulled into thinking it was the end, only to discover a new variant has arisen and cast us all back into living with the restrictions designed to keep the vulnerable people in our midst safe and our hospitals from being overwhelmed. The optimist in me makes me feel like this time may be different. And even if it is not the case, I will enjoy this difference for now.

My third theory about the difference I have noticed are the changes I have noticed in myself as I have learned more about myself and grown as a person. Sometimes this change happens naturally as people age and mature, and sometimes it happens when more intentional efforts are made to reflect on oneself and create the space for those changes to occur.

As I reflected on these three possible theories, I noticed there are a couple of truths. Every winter and every pandemic does eventually come to an end, usually not as quickly as we would like, but it does end. For some situations it may seem like there will never be a change. However, history and experience prove otherwise. The other truth I noticed is sometimes we have no control over the change, though we can be mindful and aware of its occurrence, like when we notice the lengthening of the days and the warmth of the sun. And sometimes we can actively participate in bringing the change about, like when we create the time to reflect and work on ourselves.

As we go through this month, I invite you to pay attention to the differences happening around you and within you.

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