It has been quite a summer for me – one with a mix of joy, grief, lake fun, and a little of everything in between.
But before I share more on that, let’s start with an important question . . .
How are YOU really doing?
Are you feeling overwhelmed with everything to do as you ramp up work projects, back to school and trying to squeeze in a few more fun experiences in the last days of summer?
Was your summer everything you had hoped it would be and now you find yourself longing for that simple, slower pace and DREADING the hectic schedule again?
Or perhaps you did not slow down at all over the last couple of months, with work busier than ever . . .
First off, it's completely normal to feel a bit out of sorts as you step back into the real world from your summer.
The problem is that many people resist or ignore how they are REALLY doing!
Is this you?
You keep pushing through, feeling overwhelmed, say you are "fine", and take a “cross your fingers” approach that it will all get better one day.
But to get to that better place, you first have to be real with yourself and accept what is.
Without the shame.
Without the guilt.
Without being hard on yourself.
Just an honest look at where you are at.
As the old saying goes: “What you resist, persists.”
When you do this, you can then figure out what you really need and experience more happiness, presence and ease in your days.
For me, this summer has been a journey of acceptance and presence with how I was really doing at a whole new level.
Heading into July, I knew I needed a bigger break. Over the past year, my mom and two grandparents passed away, two kids are shifting into teenager mode, I’m running a thriving business, keeping my boundaries, and – you know – life!
The plan was to take most of July off. I ended up taking most of August too and had only worked 2.5 days up until yesterday (think of that as unpaid vacation time).
It was a wonderful mix of low-key days, two weddings and lake fun. The days were easy-going, definitely not perfect, and I absolutely loved it.
Sadness also swept over me in unexpected moments throughout the summer.
Since my mom died in October, after the initial weeks of hospital stays, funeral and deep grief, I had felt good most of the time.
When I thought of my mom it was a peaceful feeling that she isn’t suffering anymore. I found myself appreciating life and being present with people in a whole new way. I also let myself feel what I needed to feel.
This summer, though, the tears come more easily and more often, as I have been so much more aware of my mom’s absence.
My parents often came to Kenosee Lake for a week-long visit with us around August long, and I really missed having them there this year.
If I could have a do-over of any part of my life, it would be their 2021 visit. It was the last time we ever just hung out – pancakes with the kids, walks together, or just sitting by the lake chatting.
And then my sister’s wedding in August. It was such a mix of happiness and sadness that day – WAY more emotional than I expected.
Sitting front and center for everyone to see, I started sobbing before the first groomsman walked up the aisle!
Throughout the day, I would laugh and then cry the very next moment – and even had to go sit in my car to be alone for a bit and just be.
All I wanted was to feel happy for their special day, but my emotions had a different plan. It was a bittersweet, wonderful day and I let it flow as it needed to.
To wrap up the summer, it has been more of the easygoing, fun beach and boating days, and now I am back to work and city life.
What I do know is both the happy moments and the sad moments all come from love and presence with what is.
I am learning to let go, to accept, to forgive, to roll with how I feel rather than fight it, to be in the present moment, and to enjoy and be grateful for each day no matter how it goes, at a whole new level.
Because this is our one, beautiful, messy life – so let’s make the most of it!
This is why I do what I do to help others experience in their own lives and I am more excited and energized than ever to serve you.
So again, how are you really doing?
All my best,
"Don't count the days. Make the day count." - Muhammad Ali
Wherever you are on your journey, I'm here to support you in the way that works best for you!
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Stacey L. Olson is a Certified Positive Psychology Coach and has 15 years of corporate experience. She works with leaders and professionals who want to create more balance, stress less, AND still perform at a high level. Stacey is the founder of the 'The Balanced Leader' coaching program and offers executive and leadership coaching, workshops, and speaking.
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