This winter in London it was incredibly mild over Christmas which was confusing to people, but especially confusing to all the plants who thought Spring had come already. My beautiful Cornish Daffodils I have in a window box outside my dining room started to make an appearance in early January, despite me telling them to wait. It then got pretty cold in February which stopped them flowering properly, but what this meant is that now it is actually Spring they are stubbornly refusing to bloom. They were trying to get ahead of themselves and make things happen too soon.
This got me thinking about seasons and how it’s funny how things change as I’ve entered into a new season this week as well. Back when I was having weekly Occupational Therapy sessions I remember the OT I was working with really annoying me (I want to use a stronger word than that, but I’m trying to not swear) by telling me that I’d get myself back to working 5 days a week, just to prove I could and then I’d cut my hours down again. She said, with a confidence that bugged me, that most people go through something like I went through and then realise what’s important in life and make some changes.
I know I sat there looking at her like she was nuts. Didn’t she know my calling? Didn’t she know how much I loved my work? Whatever. I wrote it off, but it still nagged away in the back of my brain if I’m honest.
As I had considerable more time away from work than any of us expected, due to battles with the quirky insurance scheme we have in NZ and a government who were dead-set on dismantling it (I’ll tell that story another day) and I actually did totally adjust to being at home and found all sorts of ways to keep myself busy. That’s when I started paper crafting, which was a total God-send for so many reasons and there were other good things that were put in my path at the time. But I was always super aware that as a woman in my early thirties and single that I needed to reestablish my career so I could provide for myself. I’m not sure this was ever really understood back home by anyone, but as I approach my 40th birthday I’m all too aware that this was rather important . And nagging at me was that I knew that my career was a big part of my calling as well, just not working at all didn’t seem to fit with what I thought was the plan for my life. But, maybe, like the daffodils I was just trying to bloom in the wrong season.
Anyway, as some of you will know, I never got that gradual, supported return to work in NZ and I kind of got well enough I could work so I threw myself into working, in a call centre which was where I’d started when I was 22. Yep, that period of my life was one long list of humbling experiences. Then I came over to the UK and stumbled my way through some ok and some not so great temp jobs in post-recession London, again not exactly uplifting, encouraging experiences, but I was working and that was all that mattered. Especially, given I was in a foreign country with no family or government support. And the pride I had that I was earning money, even if it was a lot less than previously.
For the last 6 or so years of working full-time, though, I have to admit I remembered fondly those days back in Auckland when I was at home. Can you believe it? The times I beat myself up and let people make me feel apologetic that I was disabled and unable to work (yeah, invisible injuries are great fun) and I was feeling nostalgic for that? This just shows me that you need to embrace the season you’re in fully and stop looking forward or striving for the next one. Like my little daffodils with their futile efforts to flower in January, If you know you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing and you’re doing your best, then don’t worry about what others are saying about you or thinking about you or the pressure your inner voice puts on you. You’re doing just fine. Maybe someone needs to read this.
Now, you’re probably curious about what my new season is? Well, this week I started a new contract after almost three, badly needed, months off work. The great thing about this contract, though, is that it’s a four day a week role. Even better, I had actually been praying for this for about a year, when I realised financially I didn’t actually need to work full-time, so when they offered it at the end of the first interview, I just about fell off my chair. Of course, I said yes. But part of me smiled as I remembered those conversations with my OT all those years ago, she was right. I’m so excited about this extra day to myself as I want to use it well and I have a few projects in mind, so the timing is perfect. I’m also excited to have an extra day to catch up on myself and look after my health better, which I think is going to be amazing as well.
The one thing I’ve learned over the last few years, is that everything happens in the right timing and waiting in faith for things to happen is totally fine. There are also numerous examples of this in the Bible as well – Abraham, Rachel, even Jesus had to wait until he was 30. And in all those examples there is purpose in the waiting, we need to make sure we’re going easy on ourselves and trusting it will all work out for good.