Fortunately, I have friends who've "been there, done that" and were able to guide me through this season of life. I've also developed a practice of questioning my frame of mind. So I asked myself often throughout this past year, "Is this a healthy way to experience this situation or is there another lens with which I could use to make this a better experience?"
Sometimes I let myself be sad. I told myself it was OK to grieve this last high school graduation ceremony because I would never get a chance to do it again. But other times I decided I wanted to enjoy the experience for all it was worth, like being in Colorado for the last lacrosse tournament. I didn't want to miss the beauty of my surroundings by allowing myself to focus on the fact that this was the last few games we'd see him play. So I chose to focus my mind on being grateful to be in the mountains of Colorado, and being grateful I have a family to enjoy it with, and being grateful we are all healthy enough to be there, and grateful we had the resources to get there. The list could go on and on.
The point is my thoughts control my feelings and I control my thoughts. Knowing this one fact is a huge blessing because it means even though I can't always control my situation, I can control how I will experience every situation. I can choose to let myself be sad or disappointed or angry and sometimes that's a healthy option. But I can also choose to see the positive in every experience, be kind to others when things don't go as planned, and enjoy a beautiful moment in time even if I know it constitutes the last time it will happen. And having that much control over how I experience my life gives me more time to think about the future and what fun and exciting experiences the next season of life has in store!