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Mom's Time Out

Seasons of Life

Mary Angel

(8/2016) I have several friends who talk about seasons of life. Whether they are referring to good times or bad, they are all just seasons we are going through. I love this idea! I love how it describes our lives and how it can make the hard times more bearable. I have caught myself using this phrase to help other people as well as myself through the tough times.

I donít believe the phrase "it is just a season" comes in as handy when I am experience joy and happiness. When I am having a great day, or week, or month I am just enjoying the peace. I am rarely thinking "this is just a season". Although it is true, life isnít always going to be rainbows and sunshine. Still it is rare that I think about the bad when I am in the middle of the good. I am pleased to say that when things are going well I am just enjoying it and not wondering when it is all going to come crashing down around me. I have a few friends who spend so much time worrying about when the good time are going to end, that they donít fully enjoy them the way they should. I prefer to think of the good times as an amazing season in life, no matter how short a season it turns out to be.

On the other hand, when I am having a bad day (whether it be at home or at work), I find great comfort in remembering that it is just a season. Life is constantly changing. If my bad day is centered around work, guess what, I will be going home soon and then the season might change. If the bad day is in the evening after work, maybe because the kids are fighting or my husband is in a bad mood from his bad day, then that season will either improve or end with bed time. Sometimes if we break the frustration or grumpiness or whatever it is down into manageable "seasons" we can handle it much better. When the season is literally just a bad day or evening sometimes you can even try playing Mother Nature and changing the season yourself. Sometimes when it is a short season like that, a simple change in your attitude and mood will positively affect those around you. Smile a little more, laugh a little more, maybe even suggest something fun and see what happens. Everyone is grouchy when you get home from work; maybe you suggest a picnic in front of the television for dinner, or popcorn and a movie on the living room floor before bed. Sometimes a change of season is right in the palm of your own hand.

There are times when things have been rough for a while and you feel powerless to change them. I remember a time years ago when I was in a job that made me miserable on a daily basis. I worked with some nice people but the boss was extremely mean one minute and then sugary sweet the next. We all walked around on egg shells every day not know which side of the boss we would get. I felt overwhelming to leave the house in the morning. Compound that with a five month old and a 2 year old that I was missing every time I left the house and I was in a very dark season. To me it didnít seem like a season though, it seemed like a prison sentence that was going to last for a life time. Little did I realize that in a few short months my husband and I would sit down to have a talk about my grouchy attitude every night and end with a change of season. After a lot of conversation and a lot of tears I realized how miserable I really was and how miserable I was making my whole family. Remember earlier when I said sometimes you can play Mother Nature and all it takes is changing your attitude, well unfortunately it can also work in the opposite direction. My bad attitude was making everyone around me miserable.

After much deliberation and a little budgeting we discovered that I was only bringing home a little under $200 a month after daycare and other work expenses. My husband suggested I give notice at my job and start looking for something that would cover the $200 difference and make me happier. I gave four weeksí notice and at the end of those four weeks my season changes. I spent my days with my babies and some of my evenings selling Tupperware. I was a happier, less stressed person and my mood changed everyoneís mood. That season lasted almost a year, but I am convinced in hindsight that if I had realized it was just a season it wouldnít have been so debilitating.

Since I have learned the phrase "it is just a season" I am constantly trying to share it. I have many friends who have been in a bad season and when you are knee deep in turmoil you canít always see hope in the future. When I see a friend in this situation I always begin by consoling and validating their feelings. Then I try to bring them some hope by reminding them this season will pass and a new one will take its place. Most of the time I see a glimmer of hope in their eyes, sometimes there is the sound of relief in their voice. We all have bad days, we all go through tough times, some of them last a day and others a year or more. The key is to not lose hope, to not lose sight of the little rays of sunshine in the storm, to stay focused on the next season or rainbow at the end of the storm.

My Grandma always used to say "This too shall pass." I didnít realize until just now that she was reminding me that life is full of changing seasons! Thanks Grandma!

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