Reasons for Living: Finding Joy in the Journey

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For all of us in the northeastern US, fall has now officially arrived, and with it come pumpkins, the trees set aflame by their changing leaves and a crisp chill in the air that turns everyone's thoughts toward hunkering down for the winter, Life begins to slow down in the fall. It's my favorite season, and fall, specifically a true northeastern fall, will always be one of my Reasons for Living.

Winter here in Cleveland, OH, on the shore of Lake Erie, is a harsh, grueling thing to be endured. It's all about salted walkways, driving in less-than-ideal conditions and being cold and wet from December straight through to April. In fall I'm still excited to pull out my sweaters and boots again after a humid summer, and the days still seem long enough to remain active for hours after work.

Fall is short here, sometimes no more than a few weeks of chill between the highs of summer and the first snows of winter. The transitory nature of the season never escapes me; I can't remember a year in recent times that I haven't spent this time thinking about change, the changes happening in my own life, in my family and friends, and in the world we all inhabit. I think we can all agree that changes have been coming fast and furious lately, and some days I think I'll never catch up to everything that's new. I often find myself hurtling through life, from one thing to the next, not stopping to appreciate the process, to recognize the last time I do a thing because I'm too wrapped up in the first time experiencing it's replacement.

How many of you remember the last dinner you ate in front of the TV at your parents house before you moved out on your own? I certainly don't, because I was so excited to be picking up the keys to my new apartment the next morning. Those lasts can be just as important as the firsts, just like the leaves when they turn brown and we rake them up, they can never go back on the tree and turn green again. Firsts. and new beginnings, are awesome.... but lasts can be too, and change really is the best part of life, if you ask me. So embrace change, embrace firsts and lasts, and embrace fall with me!


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Lindsay Brunner


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