Do you ever feel mixed emotions as summer draws to an end? I do. My responsible, productive “adult self” is gearing up for a new year of activity in my ministry and community life. But my playful “inner child” still yearns for the long days and the firefly evenings, the slower pace, and outdoor activities. Sometimes I catch myself thinking in either / or categories; I limit myself, and others, by the way I think. Life is either “this” way or “that” way. Fortuna toddler drinking water from a garden hoseately I’ve lived long enough to know that “both / and” thinking leads to a healthier and richer life. The good news is that being responsible and being playful are not mutually exclusive. No one has to be only one or the other. The key is to remember to live the moment, and not be distracted by the past or the future.

What are the categories that limit your thinking or behavior? Are they really mutually exclusive? Do you ever miss the opportunity in front of you because you’re focused on the past or the future? Is there one thought pattern or behavior you could change that would bring more love, beauty, or joy into your life and into our world?

Why not spend some quiet time during these seasonal transition days to check-in with yourself and see what you find. How might God be inviting you to expand your thinking and behaving in order to lead a fuller life? What has God placed in front of you that you’ve been missing? As St. Angela says, “Get ready for some big surprises!”