Seasons to be cheerful (a journey through life)

I view the lives of people through seasons! Maintaining our joy and happiness is a very difficult task to endure. Whether counsellor or client, the same rule applies to all of mankind. Let me expand on this and reveal some of the issues that people face during a lifetime.


Spring: Early years (0-12)

The bright light, the chaos of senses, the first breath, the welcome to the big wide world. A joyous time for parents/siblings and grandparents; undoubtedly! For the child, it's time to explore the surroundings. The things to taste, touch, hear, smell and see (once our eyes are opened). Basically, the infant years are great, parents fall over things to pacify us, prepare food for us to consume, and indulge us in some 'Night Garden' somewhere. This brings us joy and happiness until we experience the pain of falling flat on our faces because we are living life at 100 miles per hour.

We begin to mingle with other infants as we negotiate toddler groups or preschool. We find our pecking order as we begin to absorb the things being taught to us any our caregivers/teachers.

Then there's the fledge into the life of education where again we can learn to count, spell, write and play (probably the best source of joy). Life is smooth so far; we've made good friendships, experienced the benefits of education and been under the care of people who love us.

Parents will read to us at bedtime until such a time that you read yourself or lose yourself in a game on a console. So far, so good for the youngster.

Summer: Teenage years to 50

OK, so now it's getting a little bit serious and we reach our teenage years. Again (on paper) a relatively happy time as we get deeper with our education, and the desire to 'better ourselves'.

There may be opportunities to join a sports team, go to watch your favourite football team. Then there's girls/boys! Relationships form with the opposite sex or indeed the same sex. Identity comes into play, we all want something/someone to identify with. There are many ways that teenage children can now identify, as seen in the growing LGBT+ communities.

The need to be accepted, to belong, is high on the agenda for teenagers. Hormones kick in and emotions become a little more scrambled.

Happiness is found when we find our niche in life, the right group to mix with, friends to hang out with and share our interests with.

On the flip side, some young people's experiences are different. There may be some who have sadly been the target of bullies, racists, family breakups, neglect and abuse. 
There is help out there for young people who have experienced difficult times. There are counselling services, mental health services and specialists to help the young person to negotiate their traumas

Adults, help your children to access these places... it could be vital to their survival. Young person, look into getting help if you are experiencing difficulties.

The twenties, thirties and to some extent the forties can be some of the best times of our lives. Relationships, marriage, starting a family, getting a job, earning money, buying a house; the big decisions we make to add to our experiences.

It's normally around the early twenties that partnerships form, and young adults head out on sexual exploration. Finding that perfect compatibility, a soul mate. Experimenting with alcohol or drugs may enter into this part of our busy lifestyles.

Autumn: 50 to 75 years

OK, this is where life can be scary. We've experienced life from infant to teen and on through our forties, suddenly we approach the downhill slopes of life, fifty and beyond. Now before I get too serious, the above statement about downhill slopes isn’t true of every situation. Yes, the body slows down, and in some areas, life can become tedious, however, if individuals take the stance of maintaining their health and lifestyle; life can be as we desire it.

As I fall into this category, I find many ways to be cheerful, enjoying life, my surroundings and my relationships and can actually live life to the fullest. I still have my health, I am able to walk my dog, giving us both the exercise we need. There is always room for improvement if I’m totally honest. I look forward to the day when I can take grandchildren to the park, impart my wisdom to them and watch them join this cycle of life. Retirement will come and the time to do the things I really love will become more frequent.

Winter: 75 to 100 (and beyond)

OK, this is where aches and pains can come in and our health may even deteriorate. Family and grandchildren will keep us occupied, and rare trips for holidays will bring us that extra bit of sunshine. Yet there are still reasons for being cheerful. Fond memories of a full and active life, holidays and adventures to reminisce over with friends and family.

Milestones reached, big birthday celebrations and anniversaries will draw in some fond memories. Seeing your family grow and flourish, and play their part in the rich tapestry of life with a cheerful glint in your eyes will bring much joy and that sense of pride that you’ve done a good job.

Working with a therapist

Wow, a whirlwind, whistle-stop journey through this thing we call life which, if negotiated well, can bring so much joy to our lives.

Of course, there is the flip side where things may not go as you wish! These are the times when illness may invade our happiness, where circumstances can be difficult. We try to make the most of our time here, but find it tough. Maybe this is where ‘a problem shared’ can be crucial. Having that family member or friend that you can reach out to or finding time for self-help by talking to a counsellor or psychotherapist can make the difference between the maintenance of our health and well-being or difficult navigation of life.

I currently have spaces to take on new clients, whatever season you’re in currently, happiness and joy can be reached, and maintained by talking to someone. If you’d like to talk to someone, please feel free to reach out.
Because you matter.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Yelverton, Devon, PL20
Written by Andrew Laidlaw
Yelverton, Devon, PL20

Andrew is a Person Centred Counsellor, based in Yelverton in Devon. He has a real passion for walking with people through their valley's. Andrew offers Walking/Talking Therapy as a tool to connect with nature and allow the openness of the outdoors for a sense of openness for the client.

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