The Whispers of Autumn
It is autumn in Canada.
This is the time of year when the rich greens of trees, and full blossomed flowers wither and fade; leaves turn to vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow; morning dew coats the browning grass; wasps flit all around, buzzing on their sugar high; and the wildlife surrounding us prepares for long, cold winter months. This is the time of year that life withers, slows, and fades. This is the time of year I internally struggle.
Throughout the month of September we have enjoyed some beautiful weather – an extension of summer – yet I haven’t been able to enjoy the sun and blue skies. I feel fraught with anxiety within, triggered from the many stressors without. My life feels like it is spiralling a little bit out of control, and I cannot seem to grasp a firm hold onto any one thing. I am drowning – overwhelmed, frazzled, and overburdened – and as a result I feel embittered, disheartened, and dispirited.
There have been a lot of changes to our routine, and added activities to our each and every day. Though all are very exciting opportunities, they are also proving somewhat cumbersome. Life feels full tilt and I need a moment to breathe, but instead I am gasping for air. Am I truly incapable of balancing parenting with marriage with work with family with home with ‘me time’ and therefore riddled with personal feelings of ineptitude? Is there anyone else that is feeling the same as myself or am I all alone in these feelings of despondency?
Too often we struggle with our internal demons – those nasty little voices that reside in our head. They whisper disparaging remarks – admonishing our choices, and criticizing our attempts – finding fault in all we do. How does one silence these nasty little voices? How does one rise above them when feeling stretched to the limits and exhausted?
It is within these moments I turn to my coping strategies – to centre myself and hush the unkind thoughts in my head. Just as I tell my child to always be kind to himself, I remind myself of this sage advice. Be kind. I am not going to conquer my new role [at work] within a month when I have not received the necessary and basic training – it will take time, it will take mistakes, it will take patience – and with that knowledge in my heart, I know that I will slowly succeed within my role. Be kind. I am not going to accomplish parenting all on my own. I need to trust more in my partner, and together we will make the crazy routines and added activities and commitments work within our everyday lives. Be kind. I have a right to stop and to slow down. I need to provide myself with permission to be still. It is okay to pause. It is necessary to breathe.
“may this stillness stay, and quiet the noise in my head so i may hear the voice in my heart – clarity” – butterflies rising
And so, in these past few days I have dusted off my coping strategies. I am using my essential oils both in my diffuser and topically to balance my emotions and elicit feelings of calm; I am burning my candles to create an atmosphere of warmth; I am listening to music to uplift my spirit; and I am journalling to express my anxieties. Is it working? Slowly. I am focusing on kindness of self. If I am patient and kind with others, I must also be patient and kind to myself.
I am on a path of adjusting to my new responsibilities and demands. But, where to begin? Within my job? Once I overcome the massive hurdle of staffing, I will then focus on self-learning. As I am not being formally trained within my role, I will have to create a personal training schedule in which I try to learn on my own. It may not be ideal, but it is my current truth. I will overcome the hurdles as long as I keep faith within myself and trust in my abilities. Within parenting? As long as I relinquish my need for control and trust in my partnership with my husband I know we will guide and support our child through his personal endeavours. My marriage? My home? My personal time? It is all about balance. Just as I schedule work and LM’s activities into my daily life, I need to ensure I pencil time in for my marriage, my home life, and personal time for myself. I have to be accountable for the things that truly matter, the people that make the difference in my life. Am I placing stressors upon myself? Am I stretching myself too thin? Possibly? But as long as I perform daily check-ins and be truthful with how I am feeling, how I am coping, and adjust accordingly, I know I will be okay.
I recognize that autumn magnifies all these feelings of anxiety felt deep within. It has never been my best season, a season that seems to perpetuate deep-rooted fears and magnify self-doubt. Drawing upon my inner strength, and trusting in myself, my past lessons learned, my courage, and my coping strategies established, I know that I will get through this challenging season in time. I may fall and I may stumble, but I will always rise again.
How does autumn impact you?
The Whispers of Autumn. Published by Crystal Joy Hall