As I write this the rain is pouring down outside and I can hear the sound of a thunderstorm in the distance. It’s been like this since last night. I’ve been awake since the early hours of this morning, worried about our three newborn lambs. Two are a week old, and one less than a day. At first light I donned raincoat and gumboots to check on them, and have done so another couple of times since. They are soaking wet, but at the moment seem ok. Their saving grace is that it is warm out. And I keep reminding myself that most lambs are born during the middle of winter amongst freezing temperatures and constant rain, and survive to tell the tale.
That’s the thing about animals. They are more resilient and stronger than we give them credit for. Their fighting spirit is innately ingrained in them from birth. And although I’m sure the lambs are wishing for the sun to come out as much as I am right now, I also know they will be back bouncing around the paddock as soon as it does.
This morning was not the first where I’ve lain awake staring at the ceiling in our bedroom. I haven’t been sleeping well for the past month. I am so tired by the end of day I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, only to find myself waking just after midnight. Sometimes, after a couple of hours, I will fall back into a light sleep. But other nights I simply watch the minutes of the bedside clock tick over until the sound of my alarm pierces the silence. It’s not unusual for me to experience problems with sleep. So I know it’s just a season of broken rest that will slowly mend itself at some point. And just like the lambs waiting out the rain, I too need to wait.
I’m not exactly sure what has caused my disrupted sleep this time. But I do know I am going through a busy season in my life right now and I’m sure it is playing a part. But again, like all seasons, I know this too will pass.
Because the thing is … we can slow our lives down and simplify them as much as possible, but different seasons throughout the year still exist. And just like the actual seasons, there are life seasons. Right now I’m in the middle of a busy one, and it’s perfectly ok to be.
It is so easy to listen to all the messages telling us slow, simple and minimalistic living are the answer to a life that is quiet and stress-free. And if we believe this messaging to be gospel, it can cause us to fall into the trap of thinking we are failing if our lives aren’t like this all the time. But the truth is, life happens. And sometimes it happens all at once, and often unexpectedly. And no amount of decluttering is going to fix it, because it is simply a season. A season that too shall pass.
Because here is the thing. In the last four weeks my partner has spent a total of 72 hours at home. And they weren’t consecutive hours. Each time he was home for just 24. Time enough to do his washing, take the dogs for a long run, mow the lawns, take the rubbish to tip and of course sleep. We didn’t know this was going to be the case, but it is what it is. We also didn’t know that I would need to put Meg to sleep while he was away. We didn’t know we would have three lambs born within a week of each other. We didn’t plan this year on rescuing a cat, or having a wild cat turn up on our doorstep that we couldn’t not look after. And we didn’t plan on me having to suddenly take on more responsibility at home, because we didn’t know he was going to be away so much with work. All on top of work, study and the everyday responsibility of running a household. Again, it is what it is. It is simply a season that will pass.
But here is where the benefits of living a simple and intentional life do come in. By living a slower paced life, and by having routines in place, when life adds extra portions to my plate it still doesn’t overflow. Living a life with less commitments means I can still function and feel like a relatively normal human being when I’m in a busy season of life. Maybe I’m not sleeping well at the moment, but that’s not unusual for me. It happens when life is less busy as well.
As we approach the end of the year life it is likely many of us will start to feel a surge of busyness. Some of that we can control, but choosing what we say yes and no too. Some of that we can’t. I know many of you run product-based businesses where the holiday period is a particularly busy time. That you can’t control. But you know it’s a season that will pass. However, for the rest of us it’s important we are intentional about what we commit to over the next couple of months. Not all parties need to be attended, and we don’t need to ‘catch up before Christmas’ with everyone we know.
But just remember … if life does place extra helpings on your plate this season, helpings you didn’t actually ask for, all you can do is be like a newborn lamb waiting out the rain. Put your head down, take care of yourself first and know that in time this season too will pass.