I love fall more than any other season. It always causes a rebirth in me. A new school year brings new faces to the college, most right out of high school with dreams and ambitions and that youthful "I can't fail" attitude that is so life-affirming. This time of year also brings football back to the collective consciousness. We topped out well over 100 degrees again yesterday so it didn't feel like fall but you know the cool, crisp air is right around the corner because college football kicked off last night.
I've never lived in a place that the seasons didn't change and don't think I could. Seasonal change is a reminder of life. The always dependable seasonal changes from summer to fall to winter to spring makes me feel alive and, at the same time, reminds me of my mortality. That there is a beginning and an end and that we don't have forever to get things done. Some of us get caught up in such a daily routine that we don't assess where our lives have been, where they are, and where they're going and that's the kiss of death.
I set goals for myself when I was young and continued to reassess those goals and set new ones as I grew older. It's something we have to do to squeeze the most out of life we can. Be it cars, jobs, houses or relationships, we have to take stock of what our lives are about and change those things that need changing.
But a lot of people don't and by the time they realize they should have made changes in their lives, it's usually too late. They have my deepest empathy because they had one shot at the big show and they threw it away.
Most of us enjoy the competitive nature of sports and football in particular because it has a beginning, a middle and an end and when it's over, we know who won. Anyone with a competitive spirit values this process because it's a reflection of life.
Life is just like that. Life has a beginning, a middle, and an end and, when it's over, we know who won too. We talk all the time about people who made the most of their lives and people who didn't. We talk about people who succeeded and people who failed. But none of us can really keep an accurate score on another person's life because they're the only ones that can do that. Some people appear happy on the outside when they're miserable on the inside. The only ones who really know whether a person is succeeding or failing is the person themself. And if they're failing, they're likely to keep that private.
So as the incessant heat of the summer slowly fades away and the leaves begin to fall, we should all remember we only have so many more autumns to experience before our game is over too.
And it's really, really important to go out a winner, at least to ourselves and those who love us.