It's happening. Fall is arriving. The days are getting shorter. The clouds are hanging out longer in the sky. The air is filled with pollen and other allergens. The temperatures have dropped, and it will be many months before spring returns. The last week of September--after the fall equinox, when the number of hours of darkness eclipse the daylight hours--is always a dreaded time. Yet, I am feeling hopeful this year.
Several years ago, Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg published a manifesto for professional women. After explaining how often women limit themselves professionally because of their family obligations--and expected future obligations--Sandberg urged women to be like her, to lean into their careers. They shouldn’t limit themselves to dermatology for example, where they can expect 9-to-5 hours, if they want to be a neurosurgeon. Women should pursue whatever career goal they have, without worrying about its actual or potential impact on loved ones. They shouldn’t keep quiet during team meetings. Women should advocate for themselves in the workplace and negotiate for their full worth.
I am happy. I am at peace. I feel content. I didn't know if I would ever feel these emotions again, but they have returned--along with a deeper sense of faith. That's what happens when we go through challenges; they refine us. I am grateful for every lesson learned, as well as the following:
Seven years ago, I was asked to imagine my ideal life. I was prompted to dream of where I wanted my life to be in five years. At that point, I was living in a Jersey City apartment with two young ladies with whom I did not get along very well. After a bad lupus flare and a three-month medical leave of absence, I was just getting back onto my feet. I had a good job, and was very grateful for how understanding they were about my sick leave. But I knew something was missing.
DC experienced one of its warmest and most humid days of the year earlier this week, and then a cool front blew in that lowered the temperatures dramatically. I turned off the air conditioner and opened the windows. I love sleeping with cool breezes blowing all around me. It also a sure sign that fall is fast approaching, and I am delighted. Here are some of the other things I am celebrating this week:
Crystal Moore began her wellness quest in 2003 after being diagnosed with lupus. Her quest has led her to embrace yoga, faith, exercise, healthy eating, and relationships. Share her journey.