Embracing the seasonality of life has other benefits besides helping us deal productively with the tough times. When you embrace life’s flow, you leverage the energy of the flow. You can use it to your advantage. If you grow tomatoes in season, you can easily reap a bumper crop. If you grow them in January (and not in a hot house), you can try all you like and reap only snowballs, not tomatoes.
Do you remember that 70’s singer Dr. John? Like The Byrds, Dr. John also sang about the seasonality of life, only from a different angle, in his song “In the Right Place”:
I been in the right place
But it must have been the wrong time
I’d of said the right thing
But I must have used the wrong line
I been in the right trip
But I must have used the wrong car
My head was in a bad place
And I’m wondering what it’s good for
Dr. John reminds us that sometimes we encounter failure not because we’re doing the wrong thing, but because we’re doing the right thing at the wrong time. Being mindful of life’s seasonality of life can save us a lot of heartache. Instead of feeling like a failure and giving up, we may just need to wait and try again later.
I vividly remember what it was like to take Chemistry my junior year in high school. It was a disaster! As hard as I worked, my grades kept sinking lower and lower. Before long I was at risk of failing the class. I was so stressed that I became irritable and anxious around pretty much everyone, including my parents. One night when my parents caught me taking a NoDoz caffeine tablet just to stay up late enough to finish yet another “impossible” chemistry assignment, my Dad insisted that I drop the class.
“What?!” I protested? “There’s no way I can do that!” In my mind, only “losers” dropped classes. I was convinced that dropping chemistry would set me on a path that would ensure I wouldn’t get into college, which would mean I wouldn’t get a good job, which would mean I might have to work at McDonalds the rest of my life, which would mean that I wouldn’t earn a living wage, which would mean that eventually I’d be homeless and have to “live in a van down by the river” (as they say on Saturday Night Live …).
I dropped the class anyway and prepared to meet my fate.
Needless to say, I’ve never even owned a van, let alone slept in one down by the river. I retook chemistry the next year and got straight A’s. Why did I fail chemistry one year and ace it the next? There are lots of reasons, but they all boil down to seasonality. I wasn’t in the right personal space to take chemistry my junior year. Happily, life changes on us, and we change with it – at least if we embrace its flow.