In my second blog post of 2016, I talked about how I realized there was untapped time during the day that I could use if I truly wanted to work more. I put an intention out there to use my time more wisely.
The thing about intentions is that when you mean them, they tend to work.
So here we are. I have some awesome new content marketing and copywriting clients. I am using more of my time to work.
There is just one very small problem . . . and I hate to even complain, seeing as how (1) we just paid our contractor the deposit to start construction on our addition and (2) many people in the world have serious and life-threatening problems like not having clean drinking water . . . but nonetheless, yes, there is a problem. It is non life-threatening. But no less real.
I am unbalanced.
My soul is slightly unhappy.
And if I’m being honest, I’m wondering if I made a mistake with those intentions.
When All Else Fails, Look to the Romantic Poets
This point where I am—feeling a little unsettled, overwhelmed, and just plain sick of working—this is a dangerous place to be. It’s exactly where a whole slew of personal improvement and work/life balance marketers WANT you to be. They count on you being here. Especially if you’re a woman. Then they get to tell you things like you’re just afraid of your own power. (I will never understand what that means.)
Despite the plethora of books, webinars, and empowerment seminars, I contend that there is no real answer to the pendulum swing that goes along with being a human who lives in a first world country whose basic needs are all met and can focus fairly exclusively on self-improvement.
There is nothing to be done.
There are only seasons. Big seasons and little seasons. Seasons that last years, and seasons that last days. (Yes, that is my house pictured in winter and spring. Ah, seasons.)
I have been in a medium-sized season of work for the past several months. A season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, to borrow Keats’ famous lines from the poem “To Autumn.” He was meditating on the change of seasons, or—depending on which critics you read—death. But literary criticism aside, that phrase, “mellow fruitfulness”: I love it an unbelievable amount. It’s exactly what I’ve got to channel in my own season.
Maybe you need to channel it, too.
Or maybe you are in a season of new challenges, with days brimming over and you want nothing to do with mellowness. That’s cool, too. Ride that season hard, because it’s a gift.
My season is a gift, too. At least it feels that way when I read Keats.
Your soul doesn’t always get exactly what it needs. Not in every season. I don’t think a webinar can alter that reality.
I had a “check-in” call with some dear writer friends the other day. I told them my theory on seasons. They asked something along the lines of, “Do you need to change anything about the situation?”
The answer I gave them was, no, I don’t really need to change anything.
This is the season I’m in.
Mists and mellow fruitfulness.