The Fifth Season

In Kindergarten we learn about the 4 seasons: Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring. And those 4 become the norm for life for us. As children, we come to anticipate Summer and the change from school days to fun days. We even learn to associate the weather patterns of the seasons, depending on where we live.

Today I would like to suggest that there might be a 5th season that is not defined by months or years, but it is defined by circumstances. A commentator I heard this week calls it the season of LANGUISHING.

  • According to Google.com, languish can mean any of these things:
  • To lose or lack vitality; grow weak or feeble.
  • To suffer from being forced to remain in an unpleasant place or situation.
  • Merriam-Webster defines it as:
  • : to be or become feeble, weak, or enervated
  • : to be or live in a state of depression or decreasing vitality
  • : to become dispirited (Having lost enthusiasm and hope: disheartened)

The commentator was not speaking to caregivers, but to a general audience. He described our current world situation as being so weighty, that the population in general seems to be languishing. Then he went on to define that term and support his position.

My thoughts immediately went to caregivers, and how the second part of Google’s definition describes our situation – “to suffer from being forced to remain in an unpleasant place or situation.” That is a bit tongue-in-cheek, however, because we are not forced to be caregivers. It is what we choose out of love. However, there are times we may feel trapped in that place.

Those feelings can cause depression or apathy or even anger and bitterness. When we ad in the winter doldrums, life could look very bleak. At this point, there are at least two choices.

Number one – we could wallow in self-pity and just give up. But let’s not do that.

Number two – we could implement some strategies to help us live through this season of life – this languishing – until we emerge on the other side. We can even THRIVE! This is a much better choice!

So, how do we do it? Full disclosure here – I have nothing new to suggest, but I do have experience in feeling this way, and I can tell you that I refuse to give in to this languishing. Here are some ways I avoid it that might resonate with you.

First, I remind myself that God is with me. I am not alone, and He knows exactly what I’m going through. He has not left me here to deal with this by myself. Instead, He has given me His Holy Spirit within me to guide me and comfort me. And He has given me the Bible to remind me of His love for me while I cared for my husband and now into this season of my life.

Second, I try to read and watch only positive media. Negativity is addictive and invasive, and I don’t need it in my life.

Third, I surround myself with things that bring me joy – nature, art, music, and I focus on their beauty. Are you thinking of something that brings you joy?

Fourth, I seek the company and care of my friends and family. I am blessed with so many who are encouraging, and spending time with them lifts my spirit. So, I lean into them.

And lastly, I remind myself that I am blessed by God in so many ways. I had the strength and ability to care for my husband, and I am so thankful for that. And now, when I feel as if I’m languishing, I will count my blessings and give thanks to God who supplies all my needs.

It may be Winter here, and some may say this is a season of “languishing”, but we don’t have to give in to those depressive thoughts. We don’t have to languish. Instead, God is our hope and our salvation. Let’s not fear this time of our lives. Let’s give thanks to the One who is with us and gives us strength and hope.

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear about how YOU rise above these languishing days. God bless each of you this week. I’m praying for you.

Published by parkinsonscare

I'm a retired mathematics teacher, mother, and grandmother. I cared for my husband for 23 years, and now he is in Heaven. My new mission in life is to support and encourage caregivers like you!

15 thoughts on “The Fifth Season

  1. There you go, Cheryl, hitting the nail on the head in my life. I’m trying not give such huge long comments 🙂 but really, that word “languishing” describes me on many days. I’m working to hold on to God more, to rest more, to find joy with my husband and friends away from caregiving responsibilities, and to relish the simple things that bring me peace and refreshment – sometimes with Aaron, like Meals on Wheels. I love all that you said and will be pondering your words. Love you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OH, my friend, you are on the right track! I know it’s difficult sometimes, and often we just don’t feel like we’re rising above it all. But keep on going. You’re doing great. I’m praying for you. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is so true. (and you made me look up enervate in my handy Webster’s 2nd college ed.) It is so easy for me to languish and maybe even feel guilty for missing something I think that I should not have missed. — usually making sure she took her meds. … I did that this evening. Why is it so hard to forgive yourself for being human?
    … Thanks for your words. Donuts for breakfast tomorrow. 😉 Carpe Diem.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad I could send you to the dictionary! I’ll remember that next week as well. We all have to work on living guilt-free. You are not alone in that, my friend. You’re so welcome for the post, and save me a donut! I think I’ll make muffins to match your donuts today!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting posts today, especially since I have read several posts recently from people with Parkinson’s about their decision to divorce their spouse because they can’t handle the disease and/or the person anymore. I am thankful that even on my low days I have a Savior that is there to pull me up and help me look for gratitude and a better tomorrow. Thank you for your words of insight into our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have read similar posts, and last night I mentioned to a friend that I cared for my husband out of love for him. I’m not saying I want to care for a stranger. Doing this out of love makes it much easier and more important in my mind. Thanks so much for your comments. You are are in my prayers.

      Like

  4. Thanks so much, Cheryl! We’re on the same page. I agree with every point, and the verse you posted is one that never fails to lift my spirits. Thank you for encouraging all of us!

    Liked by 2 people

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