I’ve come to realise that there is a certain type of tiredness that overtakes us as we near the end of the year. I’ve decided to name this season of tiredness ‘Term 4 fatigue’.
A special kind of tiredness
It’s a special kind of tiredness. One that doesn’t seem to be cured with more sleep or lying on the couch watching Christmas movies. (I just consulted IMDB- the Grinch was released in 2000 and I’ve watched it every Christmas since then, which means that we are currently celebrating our 20th year together!). It also isn’t helped by eating endless amounts of sugar in the form of candy canes or gifted chocolates (believe me, I’ve tried). It’s a season of tiredness which is felt and shared by all – parents, children, teachers, and really anyone working in any industry.
We’re all in this together
It’s a special kind of solidarity we share, as we greet each other at the school gate, attempting to cheer each other on to the finish line, while at the same time wanting to lie down and take a well earned nap. I had a 5-year-old client in a session the other day lie down on the rug when I asked him to do a puzzle with me. As he stared up at me he simply said “I don’t want to”. It was a calm and polite statement, one which resonated within me. I understood. I felt it too. And I respected him for it. He has worked hard this year, and he has reached the point of being finished.
Time for reflection
What if, instead of seeing our current season of tiredness as a negative thing, we look at the positive? What if we use it as a prompt to look at the year that has been, at the things we have done, the things we have overcome and the things we have learnt. My daughter looked at me the other day and asked whether I was ok (I’m not looking particularly refreshed or inspired at the moment). My response to her was that I’m ok; I’m just tired because I’ve been working hard. I didn’t say it to attract sympathy. I said it to acknowledge to her that I am tired and it’s simply because I’ve worked hard.
There have been challenges this year- parenting is hard, work is hard, life can be hard. But I am sure that on reflection we can all look back on 2020 and see the good, the things we and our children have accomplished, the blessings. And I think it’s important to celebrate them and take our tiredness as a signal to start to slow down, to rest and to take care of ourselves. To have grace with ourselves and our children during this busy season.
There is a time for everything under the sun. A time to work and a time to rest. And the busyness of this season can be both a blessing and a chore. Whichever it is for you, be kind to yourself and others. Choose what to keep and what to get rid of in your schedule so that you have time to pause, reflect and hope for the future. We are almost there, and then a New Year will begin.
Keep pressing on
For now, I will keep pressing on to the end of the term. And then I plan to sleep, watch more Christmas movies on the couch and eat a lot more sugar. And if you are someone who is not tired, who is bounding towards the finish line with full energy – please give me a call and let me know how you did it.
Wishing you all a very blessed Christmas, and joy filled 2021.