The leaves are beginning to turn from green to red, the temperatures are dropping (well, sort of), and pumpkins are appearing on porches. It’s a time for change and reinvention, to start anew or perhaps start over.
These seasonal changes are predictable, they happen with ease, and they require no effort on our part for them to take place. Fall will go into winter, whether we like it or not. Sure, they may result in sleepless nights gluing together the last-minute Halloween costume or stress-induced hives when you can’t get the Christmas lights untangled. I’ll save that for a future article!
What are life seasons?
In addition to seasonal changes we also experience life changes – often many times throughout the year. I call these “life seasons.” We have different life seasons in our personal and professional lives. Sometimes they are short, sometimes long.
Some life seasons are predictable, such as the start of a new school year or budgeting for the next quarter. At Diamond6, for example, we have learned that our busy professional season is spring through early fall. That has evolved over time and we have learned to expand how we work to accommodate that growth.
Other seasons come as a surprise, such as suddenly caring for an aging parent or getting a promotion. These unpredictable seasons can catch us off guard and require extra time and energy to feel comfortable and confident – no matter if they are positive or negative.
Change is a constant
Just as with the start of a new season, the one constant in life seasons is change. Now, that’s not to say that change is a negative thing. Change is what helps us grow and evolve, embrace new experiences, and live fully. Change can also make us feel unsteady, unsure, and afraid.
A promotion is a great example of this. Being promoted is exciting! Others have recognized your hard work and you are considered a valuable asset to the organization. But, it can also be stressful taking on extra responsibilities and learning new things. This change is an opportunity for growth AND be a time of some uncertainty.
The ripple effect of change
One of the hardest things to accept during a new life season is that things will not remain the same. In short, something’s gotta give.
And, while your new life season may be one you’re welcoming, such as a promotion or a new job, chances are other parts of your life will be affected. Late nights at work mean more frozen pizzas or skipping the gym a few times.
This is where we struggle the most. Where we feel guilt, shame, and maybe even have the occasional internal temper tantrum. We might want one thing to change but not all the others that come with it.
However, if we give ourselves permission to let other areas of our lives change too, chances are it will all go more smoothly.
During the dead of winter, when it feels like it’s been cold, snowy, and miserable for an eternity I try and remind myself – spring WILL come! Thanks goodness for that!
Guess what? Life seasons change too! They can be bumpy at first but eventually the road smooths out. We get accustomed to our new routine. We get back to the gym and maybe even start cooking dinner again. We get comfortable with our new role and confident in our abilities.
We’re cruising and all is well.
Just in time for the next life season to drive up and surprise us.
What life season are you in right now? What else has changed in this season? Did you welcome the change or did you struggle?
Tanya McCausland is the COO at Diamond6 Leadership and a Holistic Nutrition Consultant. She is board certified by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals and teaches executive wellness to leaders at all levels.