This year's September Perspective Challenge

I love September.  The expectations of a rainy July* (my birthday!) lead quickly to an oppressive and uncomfortable August.  Is it the heat?  The approaching “new school year”?  The heat?  Perhaps it’s the heat.

Regardless, I have a hard time with Augusts but I LOVE September.  I can already feel the cool breezes of fall, see the glorious colors of fall foliage, taste the soups and oven-made things I can’t make now for fear of heating up the whole house.

Last year I had great success with Blogging the Bright Side, partly, I think, because last August was beyond sucky.  I debated repeating it — as-is — this year, but ultimately decided against it.  I prefer to grow rather than revisit.

So this year, I think I’ll do something a little different: Settling In September.

Not settling as in giving up what you really want, but settling as in settling into the awesome life you have. Bright Side month was about seeing the high points in everything; Settling In month is about recognizing and celebrating the value of everything.

Settling in is gratitude, and acceptance, and figuring out how to live with who I am and what I am and what I have.  Gretchen was looking for happiness; I’m seeking peace.  I spend too much time fighting the flux of life – internally, without actually changing anything.  What a waste.

First, a story.  Or two.

A few months ago we started talking about moving to the lake.  Away from this house.  This house?  Yes, this house, the one I swore I would never leave because we’d never outgrow it and it has magical woods and did I mention I threw away my moving boxes?

I was inexplicably sad, so I had a talk with myself and I discovered that I was sad about leaving this house unfinished.  We moved in with a promise – we’d fix it up and make it happy and loved and have children here – and leaving before we delivered on that promise just felt wrong.  We’ve been living a temporary life here, waiting to finish the other house before we tackled this one, and I want to live in this house once it’s awesome again!

But how to reconcile this desire to settle in with my constant yearning for growth?

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks among people – first at a work visit to a customer site with the leadership team, then a couple of weeks at my parents’ houses while catching up and having Lasik.  I’m a people-watcher, and I noticed how well my parents each get along with their spouses, but not in ways I’d imagined.  They pick on each other and get annoyed; they are also sweet in ways I didn’t expect.  Because I was back and forth between families, I couldn’t help but notice how different each couple is in making things work – but they make things work.  Similarly, I watched the various members of the leadership team interact with one another.  They all asserted themselves, but each in a way that was just right for that person.

Long story short: people are very much themselves and that works well.

So how do I do that?  What does settling in mean both emotionally and physically?  And how can I be less frustrated with where my life is?  I’m terribly frustrated.

How will this work?

Well, I’m not sure.  Part of the fun of a focused month of blogging is figuring it out.  Here’s what I know:

I like my life, like my job, like who I am – mostly.  But I’m not at the this is who I am and what I’m doing and I’m totally okay with that point.  Without the drama of angst, I’m feeling a little disconnected.  A little gray.  A little how do you get fired up by your life when you’re not trying just to get through the day?

I’m standing at a precipice, looking over the edge and holding my breath, but just not ready to jump.  And unlike years past, I’m going to stand here for a while and enjoy the view.  Except I have to find a way to enjoy the view, not just stand vibrating with frustration that

For the next month, I’m going to make a special effort to pay attention to, and therefore blog about, the process of settling into myself, my house, my relationship, my job and my life.  There will be much talking to monsters and applying metaphors to icky things and being uncomfortably honest about what I need – and asking for help.

How is this at all like Blogging the Bright Side?

Well, it’s not.  Except it is.  Finding the bright side in life is a perspective shift, as is the one I’m seeking in terms of accepting and enjoying and settling in.  So if you want to do a bright side month, you should!  And if you want to challenge yourself to find another perspective shift, do that!

Aaaand, we’re off! (Posting will be light through the long weekend, but I would love to know if you’ve decided to do a perspective-shifting project.)


4 thoughts on “This year's September Perspective Challenge

  1. I love this idea. Very courageous to tackle your own life and getting settled into it. Maybe a little too challenging for me… 🙂 Hopefully I’ll learn and grow up a little bit through you

  2. Such a good goal, Marissa! Sometimes to me it feels like a contradiction to want to be secure in who I am but also free to change and grow–how the heck can I do both?!! Other times, I feel totally at peace with who I am, knowing that I will not always be this way either. For me it comes down to trying to focus on the present more so, or at least as much, as I reflect on the past and look toward the future. I look forward to hearing you blog about this!

  3. this sounds even more up my ally with all the new settling in i will have to do. reading about you going through this helps me figure out how i’m going through it myself. keep up the good work!

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