I don’t know what the seasons are like where you are, but they are very pronounced where I live.
Summer is hot and humid. Winter is cold and snowy. Spring teases us with its repeated thawing and freezing until it finally transitions from a muddy mess to an abundance of green. Autumn brings vibrant colors and a refreshing crispness, along with the foreboding of another winter to come.
We’re moving into autumn again and I’m trying to enjoy one of my favorite times of year without getting distracted by thoughts of the frigid starkness that is coming.
But winter will come. The seasons always do. Soon it will be cold and snowy and slippery and dark.
I will miss my walks where I watch for what is blooming and growing. I will want to sleep more when the sun doesn’t linger as long in the sky. Getting out to do anything beyond what is necessary will seem like too much effort. If I’m not careful, I’ll spend way too much time huddling under blankets in the same few rooms, wondering if spring will actually come again.
Winter is a hard season for me and it brings to mind some challenging seasons of life. It reminds of times that I’ve felt stuck in a situation, a role, a belief, a way of being. It stirs up memories of scarcity when everything felt like a struggle—I was out of ideas, I’d lost interest in the things that used to bring me joy, everyone around me seemed to be doing so much better.
When I’m in the depths of a winter, it’s hard for me to believe that things will ever change.
And yet, spring always comes again. The grass will grow, flowers will bloom, and the trees will unfurl glorious canopies of green. I’ll be grumbling about sunscreen and frizzy hair instead of boots and mittens.
The time will come again when my ideas crowd each other, filling lists with possibilities and plans. I’ll immerse myself in projects, remembering why I loved these things to begin with or discovering something new to try. I’ll wonder how I ever thought that everything was used up and gone.
And then, as the seasons do, winter will return.
I’ve been learning ways to thrive during the literal season of winter. Hannah has collected some great ideas here .
I’m also becoming more aware of how we live our lives in seasons. Whether it’s the highs and lows of a day or a year or a decade, we cycle through times of energy and a need to rest.
Times when life feels rich and full of possibility give way to stagnation and back again. We go through periods of exploration and growth that need to be balanced with fallow time to incorporate all we’ve gained and replenish our reserves.
When we try to ignore the natural ebb and flow of life we can end up frustrated and exhausted. The idea isn’t to avoid life’s seasons altogether, but there are things we can do to make the most of whatever season we’re in without getting stuck there.
Instead of trying to rush through those quieter times, what if we took the time to reflect on how we’ve grown and what we can learn from the previous season?
What if we paid attention to the places where there is something unresolved in our lives or where we’d like to make a change?
What if we took the time to figure out what would be truly restful and rejuvenating for us?
What if we gave ourselves space to be curious instead of striving to be productive?
Over the past few years, I’ve been learning ways to recognize when I’m stuck and gently get myself moving again. I created a destuckifying toolkit for myself so that I have possibilities to reach for when I start to worry that I’ve hit a dead end or that nothing will ever change.
I can’t give you a secret formula to keep you from ever getting stuck again, but I can help you support yourself through the process. Whether we’re stuck in one little area or our entire lives seem to be standing still, we don’t have to just wait and hope that things will get better.
We’re all different and my toolkit might not hold the tools you need most. Instead, I put together a guide to walk you through creating your own personalized destuckifying toolkit. You can get it here for free. (If you already receive emails from me, check this week’s email for your download link).
I’d love to know…when have you noticed different seasons in your own life? What season are you in right now? What helps when it feels like you’re stuck in winter? How do you make the most of your personal summers? And, just for fun, what are the seasons like where you live? Which season is your favorite?