By Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

I love living in a region where I can experience the beauty of all four seasons.  Although fall is my absolute favorite, I enjoy the coziness of winter, the newness of spring, and the excitement of summer.  Likewise, we have seasonal shifts in our lives.  With each new life event, we find we need to adjust.  Some transitions are anticipated and some are sudden; either way,  change can be challenging. In Dr. Spencer Johnson’s book, Who Moved My Cheese, he uses the analogy of mice going to the same place to get cheese.  When the cheese is moved some decide to continue to return hoping it will be there while other mice begin to search for the new cheese.  He writes: “it would be all so easy if we had a map to the maze.  If the same old routine worked. If they’d just stop moving “the Cheese.”But things keep changing…”  And…life keeps changing.  As much as we want to hold time captive, it keeps moving forward.  We become comfortable with routines. As we mature we learn that life is far from routine.  Although we can meticulously plan our days, weeks, and years  we never know when our cheese will be moved.  So what do we do when we feel stuck in a season? Johnson suggests these three thoughts in his book: 1.   We change what we believe so we can then change what we think and do: 2. Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to the bigger changes that are to come; 3) The quicker you let go of old cheese the sooner you find new cheese.

Believing we can only accomplish something one way or believing we can be relational one specific way may prevent us from enjoying our “new cheese.”  We can not expect others to change their beliefs for us-we need to be willing to adjust also. This has become more real to me as I became a parent to adult children.  My role as a parent had to change.  They no longer need mommy to hold their hand while crossing the street or to pack their lunch. Instead they now need a mom to listen and  come alongside them as they wade through the tides of life.

There are times when we just feel locked in and like some mice in Johnson’s book, we continue to hope against all hope and return to the same spot looking for the cheese.  We can not seem to move in another direction.  We can not seem to change our thoughts/actions/beliefs.  We see others enjoying the “new cheese” but thinking of change only cripples us and further prevents us from taking a different route. Moving forward does not mean forgetting.  Reflecting and reminiscing helps us to embrace new experiences.  I love the hymns and my favorite hymn is “Great  Is Thy Faithfulness.”  A line in the chorus is “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”  I can fully enjoy the pleasures of fall: smells, colors, sounds, brisk mornings and cool evenings while also looking forward to the changes winter will bring.

Having someone to discuss the impact of life’s seasonal changes often can be helpful. It is good to have a safe space where we can share our fears and concerns about what lies ahead.  

Seasonal life changes (relocating, careers,marriage,births,aging) are unavoidable and can feel overwhelming.  Ready to take the next step? 


Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

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