The tipping point

With a subtitle of: “All things in balance”….

Today is the autumn equinox, where day and night are equal, and the point at which we tip over into the darker season here in the northern hemisphere. It’s also my favourite time of year – partly because of the very visible and immediate (and often magical) changes in our physical surroundings, but also because I absolutely bloody HATE being hot! And so, rooted in my need to find a bit more harmony and calm in my own body, this time of year makes me feel a lot more balanced out and comfortable too.

Anyway, I was thinking as I was driving into work this morning how the idea of balance might actually have changed for a lot of us. Autumn, despite being a season of things starting to die away, is also symbolic of a new start for many of us here in this part of the world, as schools, colleges and universities mark the start of the academic year, and so many of our work settings fall in line. That is certainly the case for me this year, both as someone working in an education setting and as one going back to academic study (I started last week). And compounding that, this year, is of course the fact that a vast majority of us will have just spent the best part of six months in lockdown, in our homes. I can’t help but think that many people will find the concept of balance a bit different to their previous understanding of it. Certainly that’s the case for me; six months of working at home in my own space has caused me to have radical shifts in my thinking about what is and is not acceptable for my own balancing of all the different things that I do. Simply put: I don’t want to spend so much time away from my home and family (and very importantly, THE CAT) – physically, or emotionally, any more. So if there is one thing the pandemic has taught me, it is that I don’t have to be frantically slogging away in a martyr-like froth away from my home and my little gang to be of value – and that has been the beginning of unlearning a lifetime’s worth of never feeling good enough and an innate belief that discomfort and distress = effort.

So, I am going to attempt to embrace it fully this year and allow myself to dig myself a little burrow of comfort to share from, and to allow myself to rest a bit more so I can be more present with my gang at home and my team at work. As the prospect of another lockdown and further restrictions on our movement looms, I find myself more fearful of being away from home than of being in it, which is something I feel a quiet sense of relief and joy in, as well as terrible and overwhelming sense of gratitude for having a safe place to land, physically and emotionally. It has not always been so, but I feel that going forward I might finally be able to make it so.