Things May Be Hard, But It Won't Last Forever
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. We’re all familiar with the four seasons. In Florida, we rarely see all four, but I’m not talking about the weather.
A friend once told me, “It’s just a season.” She was referring to a period of life.
I had been lamenting . . . which is a nicer sounding word than complaining . . . about how hard it was to raise a family. I don’t remember if it was before, during, or after the kids started school. All those periods were hard. Each one, according to my friend, was just a season—each with its unique trials and tribulations. It was helpful to be reminded that things may be hard, but it won’t last forever.
Recently, I had the opportunity to pass that wisdom along. A friend was telling me about his current situation. Since his daughter was having some problems, his granddaughter was staying with him. He wasn’t sure for how long, but it was really difficult. He explained that his granddaughter was two years old, which was only part of the problem. The other was . . . and I’ll use his words here, “I thought I was done with that, and it was my time.” His plan, now that his kids were out of the house, was to put some money away for retirement. We talked about retirement for a while and how great it was going to be. No more daily grind of a nine-to-five job. He would have time to go fishing or travel, time to prepare nice meals, and enjoy them!
Life has a way of derailing your plans. As we talked, we shared the stories of our childhoods and our own grandparents. He spent a lot of time with his, and I had similar experiences.
At almost the same time, we realized. . . It was our grandparents who made the difference! His grandfather took him fishing and spent time teaching him how to tie the hook, reel in the fish, and clean it for cooking. My grandmothers put me to work since I was just leaning on the kitchen counter. It was our grandparents who taught us the lessons and skills that are a big part of both our lives as adults. Not only were the things we learned from our grandparents the very same things we longed to do in retirement, but we realized we also learned those critical life lessons of building character and a good work ethic.
But back to my friend’s current situation . . . his tone had changed. He realized that having this time with his granddaughter was an opportunity. The time he spent with her, the lessons, and the things he taught her, would have a huge impact on the rest of her life.
Raising a family is hard. I remember when my kids were infants and feeling like there was no time to even take a shower! I spent weeks in sweatpants and sporting greasy hair. Caring for a baby was overwhelming; there was just no time to care for myself.
Not long after that, I had the opportunity to care for my grandparents. Both my grandma and grandpa were dealing with dementia and other health issues. It was hard . . . I had a toddler and another child in school. But looking back, I say I had the opportunity because I saw it as my chance to repay them for all they had done for me, and spending that time with them was as good for me as it was for them.
And . . . it was just a season.