The Stagnant Season

Feet buried in the sand

This photo represents my last few months.  I’ve had a lot of happiness, but have I gotten anywhere? Hell, no.

I’ve been still.

This isn’t where I talk about taking an intentional, joyous pause to regroup and energize. Nope.

This is where I talk about forces out of my control weighing me down. I’ve felt heavy, stuck. Stagnant. Frustrated.

It’s taken far more effort to move than it should. Every time I do move forward? I get buried again.

I could list all of the things that have derailed my plans over the last eight (10? 12?) weeks. They seemed monumental at the time, but, luckily, in retrospect, nothing was huge or permanently life-altering. There’s not one thing or one person I can blame. Just a dozen little things that hit me, surprised me, threw me off my game, woke me up in the middle of the night and kept me awake. The result is that I’ve been playing catch up. I’ve had to reschedule meetings, only to reschedule them again (or cancel…). I’ve been forced to disappoint people. I’ve had to make smaller promises to myself. I’ve let this blog be dormant. I’ve watched other deadlines come and go. I’ve been moving my hands and feet under the water, doing the dog paddle, furiously trying to keep my head above the surface, and I don’t like that feeling.

There are “seasons” of life, seasons where we have different focuses for our energy, different expectations. There are big seasons — like the years while we are in college or starting a career —and shorter seasons— weeks of illness or adjustment to a new situation, or just a confluence of inconveniences that derail our plans.

The trick is to realize it’s temporary, accept it, and move forward.

I’m trying to give myself a little grace.

I am an ambitious person. I set a lot of goals for myself. But not every day is a day to move forward. Some days, spending all of my energy taking care of the basics (and lowering my expectations for the basics) is the best I can do.

I’ve done the important stuff. I’ve loved my family (as best I can). I’ve stayed kind (most of the time). I’ve remembered to pay the bills. I’ve spent time with my child when he was sick (which has been often). I’ve managed to take care of myself in the big ways, but not all of the small ways.

In fact, a lot of the things I’ve talked about here — meditating, meal planning, cooking, moving my body every day— between you and me? I haven’t been doing those things recently…..

Shhhhhh.  Don’t tell anyone else.

Could I have done better? Nope. Absolutely not. I did the best I could. I’m doing the best I can. And that’s enough.

Because these seasons will happen. What I have to remember, what we all should remember, is that today is the day to begin againLet go of what hasn’t been done and focus on what can be done today, on how to move forward, and how to be kind to yourself in the process.

Wishing you a few moments of clarity amidst the chaos,

Anne English signature Anne


“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.” – Tyler Knott Gregson