This year, the start of autumn has a different feel to me. It's a season that I like a lot, for the crisp days, for the beauty of nature, for the fresh start September still makes me feel. But this year, the hockey season is approaching in a way it's never felt before. We, the Chicago Blackhawks, won the Stanley Cup last season. I've never started a hockey season after winning it all the previous season. Winning was a time of sheer happiness, a time of arms raised, of championship tee shirts, of everyone smiling just a little bit more. As autumn comes, as the start of the new hockey season begins, things have changed, as I knew they would. The euphoria is gone, due to the salary cap the roster has changed quite a bit, and everyone in the league will be gunning for us.
This year, autumn is a time for reflection, a time of looking back but also looking forward. It's also a time to be thankful for what we've got, and what we've had. No matter what happens this season, I will always appreciate the specialness of last season, the magic that allowed everything to fall into place just right at just the right time. And that magic has taught me a lesson: to appreciate all the little things that fall into place just right, to appreciate all the little miracles that happen every day. In our busy lives we sometimes sit back to reflect, we sometimes look toward the future. To be aware, and to be mindful of the world around us is as important as reflections on the past and planning for the future. Do you come to Sunday evening and wonder where the weekend went? Are you so caught up in the struggles of everyday life, whether it be finding the right clothes to wear, getting the kids to all their activities, taking care of several obligations, that your day is over before you realize it, leaving you wishing for more hours in the day? Do you load your fork with the next bite before you've swallowed the last?
This autumn, I am going to work on being more mindful of each day and the special moments of each day. I am going to work on not rushing through each day and wishing for more time, but making time to enjoy and breathe and refresh myself. I am going to work on appreciating the present. It's really the only time we have, the time where we can make a difference or rest a minute or push ourselves forward. The past is left for reflection, the future is not here yet, but the present is right in front of our face and it's a gift. What are you going to do with it?