For Those on the Cusp of a New Adventure

For Those on the Cusp of a New Adventure

As we barrel down the last days of May, I’m reminded that we’re in the season of change, growth, and for me, nostalgic reflection.

Four years ago, I joined my son on the cusp of a new adventure. He was graduating from high school and I was preparing to become an empty nester. With its storied endings and well wishes for new beginnings, that high school graduation celebration overwhelmed me more than once as I watched those young men, many of whom I’d known since they were five years old, move through the paces of the ceremony. Relaxed and confident in those dazzling white jackets, they were expectant, hopeful, with a future “so bright,” so the song goes, “they gotta wear shades.”

The commencement speaker commended the young men, and then challenged them as they prepared for a new chapter in their lives. “Make teachers of others you meet,” he said.

What great advice for all of us, I thought, as I considered what was ahead for me as well.

My father called that mode of living “remaining teachable”—from others, from the circumstance, from the issue—and often used the word “humility” as its synonym. I love that definition and approach to daily living. It helps take the sting out of some sharp edges in life when I remember I can always learn something.

Yet, even when shining and filled with promise, the firsts of any transition can be difficult. Whether it’s the first day of class or on the job or sitting alone at the breakfast table with no tardy bell guiding our tempo, we are vulnerable when we start something new.

Philosopher and poet Mark Nepo offers good advice. In his meditation, Inside Gravity, he writes, “Often that which is hit survives by staying soft, by allowing what hits it to temporarily shape it.”

So true and comforting! We don’t have to shatter from the hard stuff we face; we can be molded. We can choose to be soft and to absorb our new experiences. We can learn, grow, and be imprinted by those teachers we have yet to meet.

How about you? What comforts you when you are on the cusp of a new experience? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best—always,

Becky  (Nana B)

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