Eyes need a break from the screen?
Listen instead. Press Play!
I've had to explain more times than I can count this year how I own a yoga studio in Canada but can somehow manage to peace out to London for 8 months of the year. It's easy to explain to the Toronto crowd that understands the short but intense busy season that hits cottage country every summer. It's a little harder for the Londoners who have never heard of this 'Muskoka' place to wrap their head around.
I explain that it's an outdoor studio and that it's only open for 4 months of the year - but if one of your could strike a deal with Mother Nature and get me 6 that would be great! I'm most often met with the same reaction: jealousy.
"That's amazing. You're living the dream. I wish I could have a work schedule like that!"
In many, many ways, I feel like I am. I get to run a business in my favourite place, sharing my favourite thing and still have the freedom to focus on other passions - and other countries as life has it right now - in the off season. My schedule demands and responsibilities change drastically as the seasons change with summer being full on craziness, spring busy with planning, fall busy with wrap up and then winter being quiet - really, really quiet.
It's amazing but there's a flip side to this that I've only ever really discussed with other seasonal business owners who get it.
The quiet months can actually be really hard.
I go from waking up at 5:45am feeling full of purpose, needed at most hours of the day and tackling a never ending to do list to having all the schedule and work freedom in the world. Sure there are a lot of things I have to work on at the moment but the only person waiting on them is - ME! There's no boathouse full of students waiting for me to start my 9am class today, it's just me and my coffee deciding when it's time to get to it.
I started to feel an unease settling in a few weeks ago.
A lot of questions started flying through my head.
Who am I?
What am I even doing?
What's my purpose?
Is this 'job' even a career?
Is it time to grow up?
Should I work today?
How much Netflix is too much Netflix?
All of a sudden I realized, here I am again.
My Mid-Winter crisis.
A midlife crisis is defined as "a period of doubt and anxiety that some people experience in middle age when they think about whether their life is the kind of life that they want." Let me be clear, I know without a doubt that this is the life I want, but that doesn't change the fact that the stillness and quiet of my winter work life brings a certain level of doubt and anxiety along with it.
With this awareness of the 'mid-winter crisis' sweeping in, I've decided to be more compassionate with myself. It's my quiet season and instead of resisting that - Type A over here doesn't like slow - I'm trying my best to embrace it and take the opportunity to slow down. I'm realizing more and more these days that our lives are like the seasons, they're constantly in flux and things are always going to change. All the resisting just makes us miss out on the season we're in right now.
Does a tree in the middle of February freak out that it's leaves are gone? No! It knows a rebirth is coming. That sure enough the buds will arrive with spring, the leaves will power through summer, then come fall they'll prep to shed and shut down for the winter. It knows that it's a cycle, that each stage is important and that year after year, the cycle will repeat itself.
I think we can learn an important lesson from the trees when it comes to creativity and inspiration. Whether you're putting your energy towards creating a successful business, a powerful side hustle, a healthy body + mind, a happy life - there are always going to be seasons.
That even in the most inspiring journeys, you'll have moments where you feel motivated, moments where you feel exhausted and moments where doubt creeps in and you question everything. The important thing to remember is that the pendulum is going swing again. The season will change. You'll be onto a new stage before you know it. So hustle hard when you're inspired, hang in there when you're tired and curl up when it's quiet because whatever you're feeling, you won't be feeling it forever.