All Four Seasons

We can all be very impatient. We want things to happen fast, adjustments to take no time at all and for it all to be easy. But the good stuff often takes some time.

My Aunt Donna once said to me that it takes four seasons to get used to something new. She was talking at the time about moving to another country (she was an expat too, in the Netherlands), but I often think of her words whenever I am dealing with a change of any sort, an experience or a difference. A new job, a move of house, mourning a loss.

After all, a year, even with all of its seasons and changes of light and temperature isn't really a long time in the scheme of our lives. I'm not sure where we get the idea that it is. When entering adulthood we've in fact spent at least 12 or 13 years in education - if not 17 or 18 - preparing to go out and get a job and live on our own. So why should we be surpised when six months into our first job we still don't know what we're doing?

But I remember feeling that way. Now, when I start a new job or role I know it will take at least a year to get used to it and many years to become competent at it (if ever). Maybe it's one of those lessons of adulthood that only becomes apparent over time, like the much quoted: the more you know, the more you realize you don't know. Because clearly, when I was 14 there was nothing I didn't know.

I wish I could be more cognizant of this yearly rule as my impatience surfaces time and again. Three or six months often seems like so long and yet whenever I reach that year mark I look back and see so clearly how little time it actually was (only one season, or maybe even two!).

My Aunt Donna was a writer. She didn't write books, but she wrote emails as if they were excerpts from them, and the way she spoke had the same expressiveness. Her words about the four seasons will always be a reminder to me of the time things actually take, but also the importance of experiencing life in the way you would when welcoming in each changing new season.

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