Learning To Embrace All Seasons of Life

Like a squirrel peering tentatively out of his nest at the first signs of spring, I’m taking my first steps back into the world of blogging.

It’s been over two months since I last spilled my thoughts out to the world. If I’m honest, I’m feeling a little rusty!

I’m not entirely sure what to write about, so I guess I’ll just let the words come.

Due to unforeseen circumstances (ahem, COVID) I’ve had to make some pretty big changes to my goals this year.

The first change took me a while to accept, and I’ve really only just come to terms with it. Due to the travel restrictions and quarantine requirements for my family in New Zealand, Elliott and I have decided to postpone our wedding. We were originally scheduled to be married on November 12th 2020, exactly one year to the day that Elliott proposed. As someone who loves significant dates, this killed me a little inside.

Thankfully, our wedding planner and venue were happy for us to simply push the date back to November 2021. I had read horror stories of brides and grooms losing their deposits and ending up out of pocket, but we were lucky enough not to lose a single penny.

The photograph above shows our empty wedding venue – how fitting! I’m so excited to fill it with joy, celebration and rustic autumnal touches next year. This just wasn’t our time, and I’m okay with that.

Now that our wedding is officially rescheduled, I’m able to relax and look forward to it again. I’ve packed away my wedding dress fabric samples for now, and my Pinterest wedding boards lay bare. But I’ll be back to it next year!

I had originally planned to spend 2020 focusing on our big day, but now I’ve found myself with an extra year to get everything done. I may be a planner, but I’m not that much of a planner!

So this year suddenly seemed a lot more open and full of new possibilities.

I feel my best when I have a goal to work towards, so I’ve now turned my attention to my dream of owning a cute little house in the English countryside. I’m happy to report that progress has been made!

Elliott and I locked down fairly early, at the start of March. It’s now almost August and we’re still hibernating in our apartment, only venturing out for walks and socially-distanced visits to his parents.

When you’re self-employed and stuck at home all day, there really isn’t much else to do but work! I’ll admit that we pushed ourselves to the limit during May, June and the start of July – I’m talking seven-day work weeks and twelve-hour days.

But so far, it’s been worth it. Thanks to a successful new app launch we’ve managed to save a substantial chunk of money towards our dream home, and suddenly that intimidating goal feels within reach. I’m crossing my fingers that it all comes together next year!

After a whirlwind few months, I’ve recently found myself drifting out of that intense work mode. Honestly, I think I burned myself out! Now it’s time to rest and recuperate so that I’m ready for the next phase of work.

The other day Elliott mentioned that it’s like we’re in hibernation, which seems funny considering we’re in the middle of the summer months! But I completely understand what he means. We’re hiding away in our apartment, storing food and saving up money ready for our wedding and (hopefully!) house purchase next year.

When I thought about 2020, I imagined that I would be deep into wedding planning. Instead, that process has been moved to next year and we are entirely focused on working and saving. I didn’t expect this season of my life to come around so soon, but I feel incredibly grateful to be in this position.

This time spent in lockdown has helped me to appreciate the different seasons of life, and the importance of embracing every single one.

As we make our way through life and try to figure out who we really are, it’s so easy to create labels and rigid boundaries that we are expected to stick to. But humans just don’t work that way!

For three years I built a huge chunk of my identity around the idea that I was a vegan, and I swore that no animal products would ever pass my lips again! Now that I’ve introduced fish, eggs and the occasional dairy products back in my life I can no longer relate to that label – and that’s okay! I’ve found that I’m happier when I allow myself to be flexible and don’t restrict myself to an outdated idea of who I’m supposed to be, and I had to go through that season of life in order to learn this lesson.

I’ve had past seasons of cleaning and decluttering, writing and photography, eating clean and working out. I’m still interested in all of those things, but they’re just small parts of my identity – they aren’t me.

This year I’ve been slowly letting past dynamics and preconceived notions about myself fall away, and I now feel like a blank slate or a crisp new piece of paper – full of hope, optimism and possibility. Who knows what the rest of 2020 will bring?

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