My husband’s hemophilia teaches me to embrace the seasons of life
Just as work and productivity have their place, so do rest, recovery, and play
While searching for content ideas for a client, I stumbled on an Instagram post that immediately caught my attention.
“Human beings are seasonal,” the post stated — more or less, as I can’t recall the exact wording. But I’ve managed to internalize three key points on the subject:
- Life has its seasons.
- Just as we can’t force seasonal fruit to ripen whenever we want, we can’t force something to happen if it isn’t in season for us.
- No matter how brightly we want our fires to burn, our fuel reserves are limited and may vary at times. If we force ourselves to burn brightly all the time, we might end up burning out instead.
As time passes, I’m gradually embracing the idea that humans are inherently seasonal beings. This concept has grown on me, especially through my journey alongside my husband, Jared, who has severe hemophilia B.
Hemophilia and life’s rhythms
Jared’s hemophilia serves as a constant reminder that life has its seasons, much like the ebb and flow of tides. Some days, he bursts with energy, tackling household chores and lifting heavy objects as if he possesses superhuman strength. On other days, a sudden bleed might catch him off guard, necessitating a pause, an infusion, and some much-needed rest. It’s the ultimate lesson in adaptability.
Even in the early days of our partnership, I understood Jared’s limitations. I never pushed him beyond his capacity at a given moment. Applying the same concept to myself proved challenging, however.
Too often, I found myself pushing relentlessly to maintain a constant, unwavering pace — as a caregiver, mother, and individual. The societal pressure to conform to the “work more, achieve more” mentality proved difficult to resist, especially when life seemed to affirm that more work always led to more money and, thus, a more comfortable life.
Seeing that Instagram post reminded me that I’m allowed to slow down when necessary and to acknowledge there’s a season for everything, even within our daily lives.
Reworking the capitalist narrative
In a world that glorifies the hustle, I find it easy to get entangled in the capitalist narrative, which dictates that we should keep working at full speed because our productivity essentially defines our lives. The truth, however, is that we aren’t designed for 24/7, 365-day sprints. Just like the changing seasons, we have our own cycles and rhythms.
Jared’s hemophilia has opened my eyes to the value of recognizing these rhythms. It’s not about being lazy or unproductive during the winters of our lives; instead, it’s that we need periods of rest and rejuvenation to thrive during our springs and summers. Just like nature.
Embracing seasons of good and less-than-ideal health
My husband’s journey with hemophilia has illuminated the importance of balance. We’ve learned it’s OK to slow down when the storms of his bleeds hit. It’s all right to seek respite, to recharge, and to acknowledge the seasons for recovery.
Even as we’re told to “work more, reap more,” life reminds us that it’s not that simple.
Yes, sometimes we find ourselves needing to work longer hours to make ends meet. Life’s demands are undeniably real, and we can’t always control them. Yet during these moments, we must be kind to ourselves. Instead of working harder, we must start working smarter.
Lately, I’ve noticed that I’ve been falling ill more frequently with minor respiratory ailments. They not only drain my day-to-day energy but also fill me with anxiety. Regrettably, that’s cost me precious hours of sleep that could’ve aided my recovery.
It’s a vicious cycle. I’ve come to realize that the only way to break free from it is to surrender when a season of health challenges arrives. It’s crucial to prioritize rest over a never-ending list of responsibilities, as well as to adopt healthier habits and make time for enjoyable activities to help alleviate anxiety.
What it means to ‘live fully’
It’s common to feel the need to be “on” all the time, supercharging our everyday routines because we’re afraid of having regrets. We might think we need to make the most out of each day to avoid feelings of remorse.
With time, however, I’m coming to understand that the idea of “living fully” varies according to life’s seasons. For Jared, that might entail staying in bed for several days during a bleeding episode — or gently pushing his body a bit further to stay fit when no bleeds are in sight.
As we navigate these ever-changing seasons, remember that it’s OK to dance to the rhythm of whichever you’re in. After all, the most beautiful melodies in the grand symphony of life are the ones that rise and fall, creating a harmonious balance among work, rest, and the joy of simply being.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.