Now that we’ve officially shifted into Autumn, there’s been a lot of reflection on how this season is all about change and how much like the trees after the leaves change colors and then fall to the ground, we need to let things go.
To me, the vibrant shades of orange, burgundy, and yellow are far lovelier than all the greenery and it is somewhat bittersweet to see them, knowing they will be shed after their encore performance on the branches.
The symbolism isn’t lost on me, not in the tiniest.
During a recent meeting, our ice breaker revolved around this very topic.
Everyone offered meaningful things to let go, and I found myself nodding along with them.
Perfection was a big one.
I think a lot of us do tend to focus on making everything just so and perfection is just ridiculously unattainable.
No longer believing we had to be or make everything perfect would be a powerful thing to release.
Another one was the fear of change.
Change can be scary, but sometimes can lead to a lot of beautiful new beginnings and experiences.
Even though I am aware of this, it doesn’t make change any less frightening.
As I told someone recently, I will roll with the changes and do what needs to be done but that doesn’t mean I am not going to complain about it every time I have to do it.
Another person mentioned they wanted to let go of the past so they would be able to move forward.
That’s a biggie.
It can be easy sometimes to hold on to those situations from our past because they help us form a story we believe to be true, even when it isn’t.
I agreed with that, too.
I am sure there are a few things I need to release that are no longer a part of me, or more aptly, that I don’t want to carry with me into the next chapter.
Someone mentioned letting go of the things they could not control, or just the sense of having to be in control at all times.
I was bobble heading in agreement in my Zoom Brady Bunch corner.
Having to feel like I knew the anticipated outcome was something I felt like I had to have. Sometimes, the more I try to control, the worse it gets, too, which others spoke to as well.
All of these resonated so profoundly. Each statement was one that I felt deeply I needed to let go of to some extent, but I also knew I had even more I could work on.
When it was my turn, I was thankful I had time to think of what I needed to release specifically.
“The need to be busy,” I answered truthfully.
Even when I have time off, I find myself unable to relax and unwind.
I have to always be busy doing something, and often the something I am doing is not fun or beneficial to my well-being.
I have read that this can be a trauma response of some kind, where we feel a sense of panic and have to stay busy and perhaps it is. I am just not sure what trauma would have caused it or when it started.
But there is a sense that I have to always be busy as if I don’t deserve to have moments of freedom or joy. It’s almost like not doing something feels like a cardinal sin of some sort.
The busy-ness is not always productive. If anything, it is a waste of energy and time because I usually find myself opening my laptop to scroll through social media posts or to play Candy Crush.
There’s an overwhelming sense of panic if I am not doing something at all times.
I can’t tell you the last time I actually sat and watched a movie without working on something on my laptop.
It is a feeling of hypervigilance that I have to be doing something constantly.
I find myself drained mentally, physically, and emotionally from this incessant busy-ness.
I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to do something for fun and the whole time, had a nagging worry in the back of mind that something was going left undone. I’d go through the motions of the frivolity, but the whole time I was eager to get home to get back to being busy.
Even the moments I would work myself to a point of exhaustion, I still felt like I had to be doing something.
That fallacy needed to be released so desperately.
I wanted to be able to enjoy my downtime and to be able to recharge my soul.
I needed to be able to feel peace in knowing I deserved to rest.
But even more than that, I was aware we all had something we needed to let go of that was hard to see just with our regular interactions.
We all had something that was keeping us from moving forward, preventing us from living our best life now, that we just needed to put down once and for all.
Just like the trees show us each year, maybe we can learn how beautiful and necessary it can be to let things go.
Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.