I know I know, it’s grey and chilly and wet and windy out there and you don’t wanna embrace it! However, I am talking about the seasons of life and how learning to embrace them can lead us to greater satisfaction.
You know, sometimes life is all about growing and flourishing, blossoming and blooming – Spring and Summer. Sometimes it is about hibernating, stillness, hunkering down, snuggling up and conserving energy – Winter. Other times it is about working, learning, new beginnings, harvesting and consolidating – Autumn.
Our Twenties are a very different season of life to our Sixties. Growing a career is a very different season of life to retiring. Becoming a new mum, caring for elderly or sick parents, moving house, getting married or divorced…. Big changes that happen in our life but take up a finite amount of time. The ever changing ebb and flow of our lives…..
When I heard about the concept of life having seasons I felt like a veil had been lifted and I had a much better understanding of the world and how I live in it. When I was a new mum, in the trenches with 12 hours of breast feeding a day and a baby that thought sleep was for losers I gripped onto it with both hands. I was knackered, flat and wondering where “Sarra” had gone and I would remind myself that this was just one of the many seasons in my life.
It wasn’t long after that, that I started hearing the phrase Slow Living getting bandied around a lot, and as someone who has always embraced the concept of living with more intention and living a more wholehearted life it intrigued me. I would class myself as a bit of a hippy so I have always been one to “stop and smell the roses” and marvel at sunsets but I am also someone who is busy a lot. There wasn’t time to slow down was there? Too much fun to be had and work to do?
By Autumn 2019 I was ready, I decided that I wanted to slow my life down a notch or two. As I said before we are a busy family. Not busy in the traditional sense of working all hours in an office but we lead a very full life which is what we like. We have always got some sort of DIY or project on the go and love our adventures away in our campervan. More recently though I had been feeling the pull to slooooooow everything down more, chill at home with Tiddly Toddler and just enjoy this time whilst she is little. I have never been more aware of time flying than I have been since becoming a Mama and I can’t say that I like it. So Autumn arrived and I was looking forward to nesting and hibernating….. Mmmmmmmm sounds good yeah?
You know how life sometimes has other plans for you? Yup. That’s what happened. An amazing opportunity for us to live a more rural lifestyle arose and we grabbed it with both hands. It meant those slooooow Sunday afternoons drawing and doing puzzles with Wriggles or reading in front of the fire were kind of on hold.
They were replaced with hauling old radiators out into the brisk Winter air to drain, scouring dirty cupboards and pulling up fusty old carpets
Replaced with juggling work, Tiddly Toddler, winter colds, Christmas, family, roadtrip, studying, socialising alongside house renovations, packing, sorting, plumbing, scrubbing, painting and tax returns…. You get the idea.
That was the season of life I was in. 4 months of full on crazy. 4 months that I knew would come to an end. 4 months that I could keep my head down and do the work knowing that on the otherside I would be slowing down and creating space (unless life throws up another unforeseen opportunity or event). Now don’t get me wrong, alot of it was fun, it was just rather full on especially after seeking a slower pace of life.
Understanding that we will go through different seasons in our life can help us get through difficult times. “This too shall pass” and all that. However it can also help us to make the most of the more enjoyable times and understand that these are indeed “The good ‘ol days.” making us more mindful of living in the moment.
Getting our heads round the fact that the slower (sometimes more boring!) times are needed so that we can grow roots, regenerate and take stock is vital. If we are constantly in the Summer season of blossoming and blooming, working and partying we would burn out. Nature knows this and we can follow her example for a more satisfying and sustainable way of living.
As my fabulous friend Janey always said “Nothing ever lasts forever even if you want it to.”
I am writing this having been spat out the other side of the crazy season, a little discombobulated but very happy with the outcome of those 4 months. It’s mid afternoon and Tiddly Toddler is napping. I’m ignoring the housework, enjoyed some yoga and am now snuggled up on the sofa; every now and then I just gaze out the window and watch the squirrels in the rain collecting old apples. Happy Days.
What season of life are you in at the minute? Can you find a way to embrace the less than favourable bits knowing that it will pass. Can you cherish these good ‘ol days?