The stores have started putting out their Christmas product. Hallmark channel has started playing Christmas movies. There has been a day or two where I’ve walked out to my car at 7:30 am and felt the crisp cool breeze of a 65 degree morning. Yes, we can certainly feel Fall in all it’s glory coming on and with that comes the Christmas frenzy.
But I’m not talking about the Christmas season. I’m talking about the season of life in which I find myself in these days. Have you ever scrolled through your Facebook feed and Pinterest timelines and found yourself pinning or reading blog posts and articles about one topic in particular?
I’ve had seasons where my focus (or passion or need) has been social media. Where I lean on my husband a little more in the evenings to help with bedtimes, baths, dinner and anything else I can convince him to do so I can have just 5, 30, or 60 more minutes of research time. So I can read one more article on SEO (search engine optimization) or the newest and baddest social media outlet (Periscope, anyone?).
Then there was the season in which I needed to focus my attention on the needs of my newborn and managing life with 3 little ones. Where social media was an outlet for me to get information on how to survive those sleepless nights and still be a happy productive mom in the morning for the rest of family. When social media was a purely “social” aspect for me to catch up on and visit with friends. Where those hilarious memes popping about about how chaotic motherhood can be are all around us and we actually look forward to them. Mornings after school drop-off where I would tote the baby so that I could meet up for coffee with girlfriends because my soul needed to be fed with support, and laughter, and joy.
And then there was that season of survival. Where everything in my life was chaotic. I had just opened a new retail store a few months prior and we we’re in the midst of the slow summer season and all we saw on the horizon were long lonely days sprinkled with customers here and there and rent. And somehow trying to find the energy and motivation and excitement to continue running my existing online shop and RGV Moms Blog. I knew that all I did in that “season” was going to be hard and I was going to have to make sacrifices to get though it. Where “no” became a part of my regular vocabulary and celebrations with friends were missed and playdates didn’t happen and there was lots and lots of help from my “village” to have kids’ schedules set and appointments made. Where their teachers saw me less and evenings with my family consisted of a comatose momma on the couch delaying the dreaded bedtime because all I wanted to do was stare blanklessly into the abyss and let my mind sleep with my eyes open until I could actually lay my head on my pillow. And there were tears. Lots and lots of “stress and fear and that feeling of overwhelm” tears.
And then here we are now. In the holiday season. A season I am having trouble defining. I think mostly because I am just entering it. But it feels like “intention”. The tragedies that have unfolded in our community these past few months have no doubt been the trajectory for this change in my seasons. If you’re on social media at all you must have heard about sweet Dylan Adams and Clarissa and Caitlin Tovar. I think these accidents stopped so many of us in our tracks and made us all so very grateful for one more day with our loved ones. I’m trying to be still in motherhood and take in and savor every moment. This is still my season of “no” to a lot of social media time in the evenings, “no” to things and events that do not bless or benefit my family. But it’s also a season of renewed “yes”. “Yes” to my daughter’s requests for multiple mani pedis in one session (at home of course). “Yes” to watching Alvin and the Chipmunks for the 100th time in a row. But really, really watching it. Like, without glancing at my phone. Or trying to make dinner simultaneously. “Yes” to being present and in the moment. “Yes” to helping chaperone my son’s class field trip even when it means canceling attendance at an important pre-scheduled event for RGV Moms Blog. I am leaving the cell phone in my purse in the back of the car so I am not tempted to reach for it and lose myself in the moments I have in the car with my Littles. We’re getting asked hard questions about death and faith and fairness and so we’re leaning a little more on our church family and we’re talking about and learning prayer in a way we never have. We’ve slowed down a lot. My patience is longer/stronger and the manner in which I speak to my children and family are more nurturing and calm. My Pinterest feed now looks a lot like this.
Perhaps I write about it because I want to publicly apologize for the season I am in. Because inevitably, something has to give. And some seasons it’s quality family time, some seasons it’s quality time with friends, and some seasons it’s our work that suffers. I am aware of the choice I make when I make them, and though I don’t feel bad that I have made them, I am apologetic to those that suffer because of them.
Our seasons change often and sometimes they change because we are fulfilling a need within us. Sometimes they change because we are fulfilling a need within our family or careers. And it’s ok for life to seem unbalanced. Another season will come and your priorities and needs will shift and the balance will tilt again. And again you’ll feel unbalanced in one way or another. It’s only a season and it, too, shall pass. That’s life as a whole trying to balance itself out.
What season are you in currently and how would you describe it?