We hit winter last week. Here in Australia, winter officially starts 1 June. We've had a mild autumn (or 'fall' for you North American folks) and it's only in the last two weeks when the temperature at night has fallen below ten degrees celsius. I typically enjoy winter as here in Sydney it's mostly mild and relatively dry.
As I’ve grown older I’ve come to appreciate our lives, like the weather, can be full of different seasons. Typically, a new season starts when there’s a change in our circumstances. Generally, the new season comes about through some major change.
What I find interesting about such new seasons is the impact they can have on our conversations and areas of interest.
For the first time in our almost 25 years together, both my wife and I are not working in the Corporate world. We met, came to know each other and fell in love as employees of Big Business. I’ve been out of full time Corporate life for a few years now but Fiona recently elected to take some time out due to a couple of particularly difficult years with her employers.
Interestingly but not surprisingly, much of our conversation involved business, Fi’s work, her challenges, employees, bosses and so on. And now for the past few months that part of our conversation has ceased.
Our sons are now young men, the eldest is married and now a dad, and I’ve noticed once again that in the past few years the boys don’t feature as much in our conversations. There are no longer the day-to-day happenings that fill a conversation.
We’re almost empty nesters, our youngest stays with us on weekends, and I see now why many couples can struggle once the children leave home. A new season of life requires new conversations.
The full extent of the changes a new season brings on can rarely be planned. Yes, we were able to plan for the reduced income, adjustment to morning routines and other physical aspects associated with the change. But such things as our conversations were harder to pre-empt.
Even though the physical changes are immediate, the ‘under-the-surface’ ones, like new conversations, can take a little longer to be discovered. Sometimes they become apparent as a result of unwelcome emotions.
We bumped into ours last week. And it was my grumpiness that initiated it. We’d had a few situations over a series of days where I’d got snappy about certain things and I had sensed in myself dissatisfaction about “stuff”. And then I brought it to ahead as I never enjoy it when things are strained between us.
Bring it into the light
We had a wonderful conversation about just that: the change in our conversation. Well, it took a little while to get to the “wonderful” but it was one of those wide-ranging chats that ended very positively. We shared the loss we are both grieving (hey, we both acknowledged “we still love the business world”) and recognized the need to add fresh content.
I feel very fortunate that even though we might have disparate views on our individual purpose in life, Fi and I are able to actively engage in sharing what’s on our heart and constructively move forward.
What we initiated the other day has provided fresh impetus and has enabled us to keep discussing what this new season has in store for us.
How do you manage a change in seasons in your relationship or simply a change in your conversation? Be lovely to start a discussion where we can encourage each other in our various situations.
Grace and peace dear SUMite friends,