Maybe you’re pregnant and are lethargic and nauseated every single day. Maybe you take what feels like 30 naps a week. Maybe you have a newborn, and you can’t think straight. The tasks that seemed so simple are anything but today. And it’s like you’re moving through neck-deep mud. Maybe you’re going through a divorce, and it feels like you’re scaling a mountain.
Maybe you’re working on a tough project that’s taking up most of your time. Maybe you left a soul-sucking job, and you feel like you’re in limbo. Maybe your anxiety is at an all-time high. Maybe you’re exhausted, and you don’t know why.
Our lives are filled with seasons—beyond fall, winter, spring and summer. The seasons that are personal to us. The seasons that make up our lives.
For instance, Shawn Fink writes about the different seasons of motherhood. One season she often experiences is the “idea season”: “This is the season when I have more ideas than time. This is when I tend to pile on too much and take on too much and then, whoosh, the season ends and I’m left with the aftermath. A lot of brain overwhelm and not much to show for it. But, by far as a creative mama, this is my favorite season.”
Another season is filled with “I’m not good enough”: “This is the one you don’t want to be in but it’s inevitable. We all get there. It’s like quick sand. You find yourself immersed, sinking … sinking and soon you are trying to climb your way out. And then you do and you’re back on top of the world for a while. I have learned to appreciate this Not Good Enough season because it reminds me that I have to take care of myself and believe in myself — and teach my daughters to do the same.”
Austin Kleon writes about the seasons of creative work. One season there may be ideas percolating, but no projects to show for it (which is the point). In another season you might be acting on one idea, and have a tangible project in progress.
Some seasons we’re more productive than others. We’re energized and excited. Some seasons we prefer to be alone or with a select few loved ones. Some seasons we may be pondering and tinkering. Some seasons may be marked by uncertainty and confusion. Others by clarity and calm.
I’m talking about seasons because I think we tend to be hard on ourselves when things ebb. When we don’t consistently perform. Every day, year round. When we aren’t being efficient. When we feel stuck. When we can’t get over something difficult. When we are too exhausted to cook or write or work out.
We berate ourselves. We sink into deep disappointment, thinking we’ll never create (or work, or thrive, or feel like ourselves), again.
And yet we see this in nature all the time. Big, beautiful leaves fall from the trees, leaving sticks in winter. Then in spring everything blooms. Rich. Vivid. Wild. There are rain storms and droughts. Night and day. Clouds and clear skies.
Think about the season you’re in right now. Think about what you might need during this season. Try to be patient and understanding with yourself. Some seasons are for blooming. Some seasons are for shedding leaves. All seasons are valid and have a purpose.