Seasons come and go. I like the changing of the seasons, knowing that they are not permanent. I can rely on the fact that even if I HATE the cold of winter, spring is just around the corner. It will come. Sometimes in an early rush, sometimes a gradual awakening after weeks of grinding rain. But spring will come.
Life is made of seasons. Every year has four. And our lives are separated into seasons too. But the thing with life’s seasons is they are not nearly as predictable as those of summer, autumn, spring, and winter. For while every year must have four seasons and only four, a person’s life can have many. Some may be short, lasting just a few weeks. Others long, lasting years and years and years.
Each season comes with its own delights and difficulties. I like snuggling in under my big, thick duvet in winter. But I hate cold fingers and toes. Really hate that (especially the chilblains!). Boyo, on the other hand, just loves the cold. He lives for winter. He waits for it, anticipates it, and heartily enjoys the frosty mornings and crisp air. Boyo wants to move to Queenstown. Ugh. I can’t think of anything worse than living somewhere where it snows. Except living somewhere that has snow all year round. Like Antarctica.
I’ve been thinking about seasons this week, as a season in our lives has just ended and another is now beginning.
Boyo has a job. A full time, 40hours a week job! It came out of the blue, an amazing, incredible, astounding answer to prayer. I laughed and cried for joy, all at once (and in the middle of cleaning someone’s house, no less)! It’s not permanent yet, but we are hoping it will become so. Either way, it’s a great step in the right direction. But with the new job comes some changes, not all of which are easy. Have you ever noticed how an answer to prayer can be a blessing or a trial, and frequently a mix of both at the same time?!? I’m not quite sure how that works, but it does seem to happen an awful lot in my life. The things I really want, I get them and discover that they aren’t quite as straight forward as I thought. Like being married. Having a child. Studying. Starting a ministry.
In case you’ve been wondering what I was up to those months I wasn’t blogging, I was starting a ministry at my church. And working. A lot. And looking after the boy while his daddy studied. The year has flown past. I still can’t believe that it is nearly December! But then I did spend the first half of the year working over sixteen hours a week, plus looking after Munchkin while Boyo studied. Between us, we either worked or had Polytech six days a week. Things were hectic, shall we say (understatement of the century!). The last half of the year has been a breeze in comparison (I honestly, truly have to credit God with getting me through the first half of this year – I was very close to emotional and physical collapse at least twice – very grateful I made it through and my violin sold which paid for the rest of our trip to my brother’s wedding).
This job of Boyo’s means I am no longer working. I’ve gone from 16+hrs earlier this year, to 8-10hrs/wk a couple of weeks ago, to this week just 2. That in itself is a huge blessing and I’m still trying to get my head around it. It’s surreal! It also presents some new challenges. I get to rest. Finally. I really need it. Study starts 4th of February next year, and I’ve been praying for a break from work before I start study again. Yay! I am enrolled and looking forward to starting again (but not how demanding it is going to be). But while not working is so good, spending a whole week with Munchkin is ah, interesting. Let’s just say he can talk you almost to death. Grin. Boyo commented on it today (Boyo having a majorly tired day today he really noticed the constant chatter). My response? Well, we both come from families of chatterboxes, and we are both talkers ourselves, so what else can we expect?!
Cleaning for two hours with a two and a half year old is a somewhat daunting task. I can’t say that I recommend it. Even if it is his grandmother’s house. I swear, he took every single book out of their bookshelf. There might have been three left. It’s just a shame he didn’t read every single one as it did keep him well occupied. I have learnt though, that it is perfectly acceptable in Munchkin’s world to be strapped into his little highchair at the table with a stash of cars while Mummy cleans. And to allow at least 15 minutes afterwards to read all the books I’ve been begged into promising to read once the cleaning is done!
Friday’s are going to be the hardest. But that is probably because it isn’t just Friday. I will have Michael from 7am Friday till about midday Saturday. You see, Boyo is starting out on a low wage. So he’s keeping his supermarket job to keep the finances afloat. That means he will be out at work from around 7am till 5:45pm Monday to Thursday. Then on Friday he works the morning at his new job, comes home for lunch, and heads to his second job to then work 3pm to 5am. Yes, you did read that right. It is a fifteen hour shift. Our theory is that this is better than working it over two nights as he has been doing, and having to go to his new job on very little sleep on Fridays (as we’ve been waiting three and a half years for this job, we are determined to give it everything we’ve got!). It means that Boyo goes to bed as Munchkin and I get up on Saturday so that also means we don’t get a disturbed night sleep (wahoo – after three years of disturbed sleep from Boyo’s nightfill job I am SO GLAD!!!).
Negotiating car access is interesting. Boyo has been told frequently throughout this year in no uncertain terms that when he got a day job he would not have the car every day. He doesn’t have the toddler, so he doesn’t get the car. We share. Of course, this was assuming he could GET to and from work without a car. Fortunately he can. His (almost unused) bike has been brought out of retirement, oiled, pumped, dusted off, and had lights affixed. The spider webs and praying mantis egg sack were removed from the helmet. Boyo now has a rather sore bottom. And this from one ride to and from work. He was to ride three days a week, but we have renegotiated next week so he only has to ride twice. So I felt sorry for him, okay!
The interesting thing about all this is that I actually feel some regret at the end of our two-student household season. Am I sad that we might finally have some stable income again (no having to find work each summer)? Heck, no! But I am sorry that Munchkin no longer gets his Daddy days each week. He will really miss hanging out with Daddy while I work. And I will miss the solitude of vacuuming alone. Grin. Boyo says he will miss his freedom.
We are poised on the verge of some very exciting opportunities. Looking back and feeling grateful to have made it thus far. Looking forward and wondering how this is all going to pan out.