I’ve always had this notion that going in a straight line is Good. Consistency is Good. Routine is Good. I couldn’t say where it came from, but for the longest time I operated under the flawed notion that to be always something is desirable. To be always happy is the ultimate aim, always organised, punctual, whatever the desirable attribute may be, the goal is to always be it. Then you’ve arrived. You’ve got it down. For the longest time I’ve believed that there are people out there living in this very way. They are Always People. They live in my head, and maybe out there in reality, though I’m starting to doubt this very much.
And for as long as I laboured away believing this to be the case, life was harder. More arduous. More like running in mud. Because as far back as I can remember I have never been an always person. Not even close. I have seasons. I am inconsistent. I fluctuate. I change. I get riled up. I get calm. I get energetic and purposeful. I get flakey and floaty and introspective. I’m funny and I’m aloof. I am neither one thing nor the other, and I am never ever always.
But being always, it often seems, is the way the world wants me to be. The world rewards consistency. Employers want me to be consistent, my kids apparently need me to be consistent, my bank account requires me to be consistent. Even though it seems to me, the very nature of being alive is inconsistent. The very act of walking through life is a terribly inconsistent business. At any moment in time something’s busy changing, either in my external world, or my internal one, emotionally, my sense of who I am, what I want and how I feel. It’s not static. I am in no way static, and yet consistency remained my holy grail.
There are plenty of places to go and be told how to become an always person. How to always have a tidy, clean and organised house. How to always be on top of your paperwork/kids behaviour/emotions/time – whatever it is you desire to always be – there’s someone who is claiming they’ve sorted it and can tell you how to become an always person too. And I go to those places from time to time, and those places look so certain and together and well….always. And that’s appealing. It’s alluring and shiny and consistent and I kind of want to reach out and touch it, even though a part of me knows, and a part of me is screaming that I am not an always person. Probably, neither are they. But most of all, I am not an always person.
Which is why I have adopted the sweet song below as my own personal theme tune for the moments (that are frankly pretty brutal) when I am once again confronted with my reality and my truth – which is that I am not an always person. And that the life I am living, is not an always life. It’s a permanently shifting, altering, and switching up kind of life. It’s a life where moods change, kids grow, fortunes rise and fall, where life is both easy and challenging, often in the very same moment. And this song speaks to that. And if you also need to be reminded that to everything there is a season – if you’re not an always person, living an always life – this one’s for you too.