The month of August is heavy with the weight of change. Children start new grades. Lazy summer days fade away as we busy ourselves with new routines. And the days begin to shorten.
The days seem shorter than usual in my home. Science says I’m losing around 2 minutes a day in sunlight, but it feels like hours. I began college classes the last week of August and all my children started new schools. I was surprised by the emotional toll. I felt physically and mentally tired. On top of that, I felt emotionally exhausted. Excitement, concern, fear, contentment. I’d feel all these emotions in a 5-minute span. And it left me feeling spent.
In recent years I’ve become a big fan of mantras. A mantra is a short, grounding phrase. For a while, my mantra when plans fell apart was “no one died.” It helped give me perspective that a change in plans wasn’t a catastrophe. It was simply a change in plans. Recently, my mantra (and a few of my kids who felt overwhelmed) has been, “Everything will be different in two weeks. ” I’m not sure why I chose the word different and not better. Maybe because it seemed like the most honest thing to say. After all, I can’t promise better. But I can guarantee different. And I’m not sure how I came up with the time frame of two weeks. I guess I felt that I could endure anything for two weeks. Nevertheless, it became my mantra every time I began to feel overwhelmed with paperwork or carpool lines or stress.
“Everything will be different in two weeks.”
And you know what? It’s been nine days and it is different now. We’ve found a rhythm. Many of the unknowns have been answered. The sinking, drowning feeling that comes with a new change has been replaced with a calm ebb and flow to the days.
Certain times, and certain seasons intrinsically hold more change. A mantra has been a handy tool for me during these times. Everything will be different and likely better. Just give it a few weeks.