Most of the time I hum along pretty happily, existing more or less in a state of balance and health and comfort. I am pretty conscious about what decisions help to create this state of existence for myself and my family. There are day-to-day frustrations, some lasting longer than others, but nothing that is insurmountable – and then out of the blue comes the big knock on the head: an event so out of place from my usual activities and expectations that it stops me in my tracks, takes my breath away, produces a few tears and possibly a few swear words and sets me back for a while to adjust. I recognise these now as my seasonal ‘shake-ups’ and I have come to value their presence in my life, even if only in retrospect.
Last season my shake-ups rocked me to the core of my being – turning upside down my ideas of what I thought I valued, and what qualities I counted as a pre-requisite for trust in friendship. I have come through that and it is now Autumn, my favourite time of year, and bang on time a few shake-ups have appeared to help me along on my personal journey of growth in this life time: not quite so emotional this time, but a wake-up nonetheless – a temporary, but rather huge adjustment in diet and the news we will have to move house after our baby is born. I don’t love our house, but it is perfect for our needs right now, and moving house after a birth is not an appealing concept.
It seems that since becoming a parent, these ‘shake-ups’ have become more frequent, or perhaps I have learned a bit more about responsibility, forward planning, values, choices … I don’t know, but I certainly feel just that little bit more mature in my view of life each time I have passed through a threshold, even when I thought I’d never make it with my sanity intact. This is something I am grateful for – but must it be so painful each time?
I’m a thinker and a contemplator. I spend a lot of time mulling over ideas, processing them and turning them around until I can make some sense of them. I’ve learned over the years that it is better to make sense of the events that turn your life upside down, than it is to sink into the depths of them and re-live the experience over and again. I do lean towards melancholic tendencies and do confess to rather enjoying a good wallow in the mud now and then. When a moment presents itself I will naturally begin sinking myself into the depths of despair to re-live the drama in my life. It used to get me down, but now that I know how hard it is to climb back out I still visit, but more in the capacity of a tourist – I stay behind the ropes, take pictures and souvenirs, thrill in the drama that unfolds before me, and then tug on the safety rope when I’ve had enough.
Although I can pretty much predict a winding of some sort each season, or maybe even a few: I’m learning – slowly – to recognise these for what they are. They are cycles in my life. They represent times when I need to take stock, to take time, to make decisions, to evaluate, and re-evaluate, to harvest, to cut and slash the things I do not need in my life and GET RID OF THEM. And from these times I can save a few little seeds of experience and a few little pearls of emotional memory, and string them together like a rosary that I can use to mutter prayers of gratitude when the cycle comes round again. It is only change. I can’t stop it but each time it happens I am a little more prepared for the next one , and maybe then I won’t be tossed about so much by the winds of change, but instead spread my wings and allow the winds to take me where I must go.
As for my shake-ups this season: my new eating regime has re-ignited a passion for REAL, unprocessed, nutrient-rich food to bless my body with. What a gift! And the news about moving house? That is going to be fine too. Every change brings its blessings, and sometimes it is just better to wait and see what happens rather than worry about things that have not yet come to pass – see? I have a few seeds and beads on my rosary already 🙂