Labor Day seems to mark the last hurrah of summer, and I’m looking at it that way as well this year. Granted, the academic year I am part of started two months ago, so for me it’s less about those patterns and more about the change of seasons, the setting of new intentions.
My theme for the summer has definitely been going new places and trying new things. I’ve pushed myself outside of my comfort zone in many ways- running 3 half marathons between May 16 and August 8, changing up how I train under the tutelage of my amazing running coach, wandering off to three new-to-me places to explore and enjoy with friends, and going to Cowgirl Yoga “camp”. I’ve learned more in the last 3 1/2 months about me, about goal-setting and intention, about life than I have in a long time, largely because pushing out of your comfort zone essentially mandates that you learn. Examples?
-I’ve learned that the half marathon distance is great for me. It’s long enough that it is truly a challenge and I feel like I’ve accomplished something by running those 13.1 miles. I also don’t leave it so miserable or so burnt out from my training that I don’t want to go back to the well for more (as evidenced by the half marathon that recently magically appeared on my schedule later this month, even though I swore I was done until December). It’s that running “sweet spot” for me, balancing something that is hard with being something that is doable.
-I’ve learned that I apparently show a strong resemblance to a 13-year-old girl when given the opportunity to ride horses. Given the majesty of the horse, how can you not feel some sense of almost boundless joy in being able to work with them? We could all use more joy like that, and I’m grateful I’ve been able to experience it some this summer.
-I’ve learned that I innately fall into the “helper” role in almost any group, and I’ve learned I’m okay with that. I attribute some of it to my introversion and it being an easy way to connect with people (or animals). I attribute some of it to my fundamental nature as someone who nurtures. I attribute some of it to the fact that I sit still very poorly and it gives me a way to do. It’s also a great way to watch what’s going on around me, leading to my next point…
-I’ve learned that while I am incredibly curious about almost everything, I tend not to ask questions. I get quiet. I take things in. I observe. And only once I have clarity on the parts I can’t figure out by watching, I ask. I’m going to experiment with asking more, even though observation is absolutely fascinating.
-I’ve learned that my intuition is to be trusted. Culturally we are so attuned to science and fact and trying to ignore that “spidey sense.” We shouldn’t ignore it, or at least I shouldn’t.
-I’ve learned that I love travel and exploring and having time with people I love. I’ve also re-learned that I love being at home and nesting and having time with my menagerie here. Both are important.
It’s been a pretty amazing summer in terms of where I’ve been and what I’ve done, not to mention how much I feel like I’ve grown. Now to figure out what those lessons mean and how to incorporate them into the everyday…