my daughter, the ant lover
and ... here we go.

september 1.

there are some people who love summer, who adore the heat and soak up all the rays of the sun and days of freedom.

i am not one of those people

i look forward to labor day weekend the way most people look forward to memorial day weekend. this three-day holiday signals to me the beginning of all the things i love most:

IMG_8599 autumn ... a new school year ... dewy mornings ... hints of warm sun on your face while a chilly breeze blows ... brilliant blue skies and glowing orange and yellow leaves ... pumpkins ... sweaters ... wool clogs ... roasted vegetables ... orchards ... apple pies and hot apple cider ... our anniversary ... snuggling up with the down duvet at night ... frosty leaves ... halloween ... thanksgiving ... the first snowfall ... christmas music ...

the list could be much, much longer.

ironically, every year i start to get wistful about the coming months and how much i love them and how much i anticipate their peace and joy, and every year the universe does its best to make me eat my words and hate the next four months. as one with a tendency toward realism and pessimism, my ability to keep the faith about fall and winter proves to be my only optimistic delusion.

i'm not sure why it is that for the past few years, everything bad or crazy or irritating or exhausting has come during this fall and winter timeframe. why?? i just want to sit back and enjoy it and relax and breathe in every moment of this season, and yet all that seems to come is ... the exact antithesis of what i'm craving and celebrating.

maybe god is a summer person.

anyway, this year i've decided to cut myself some slack. the new school year will (finally!) begin in a week, and my life will become a series of to-and-fro trips for each kid. i will begin to spend two hours of my day in the car. my free time will be in two short chunks, separated by a 40-minute round trip to drop off harper at kindergarten. on top of that, marc's family is again coming up for thanksgiving. while i love having them here for thanksgiving, this year we have so many projects to get the house ready to sell that i have a list a mile long of things i need/want to accomplish between now and the first of november. and after thanksgiving, we'll have three weeks until our trip to indiana for the holidays. as soon as '11 begins ('11? seriously?), we'll have four months to finish our projects before we list the house and begin the build. at this point, i truly believe i will NOT decorate for fall, and i will NOT decorate for christmas. it's just one thing that i don't need to do.

however, harper and i have decided that we'll make our own decorations. i found the book "what shall we do today" earlier this summer, and harper and i read through it and picked out 15 projects we want to tackle in december ... one a day, and each one will create a decoration for the house. i'm so excited, and will surely write more about that in december.

anyway, that will be a huge area in which i can, truly, cut myself some slack.

so i'm entering september in a more cautiously wary frame of mind than other years. i know that at some point in the next four months, the crap will hit the fan and i will throw a fit. we are entering marc's historically busiest time, which i need to keep in mind. we are entering the busiest time on the calendar, the one that always seems to go the fastest. we are entering a new landscape: henry, in the gifted academy and advanced math at the junior high, and harper, in real school - both of which could result is higher stress in my kids. we are entering the time when my expectations and desires don't necessarily match up with real life.

but if i start re-training myself right now, perhaps i can salvage some of the joy i hope for in this season and take little sniffs of it to keep myself centered, instead of missing it when the days rush past me and i'm left to mourn fall's elusiveness and fleetingness.


Lisa Dickinson

i'm an autumn lover too, so i totally get you! here's hoping this year's falling leaves bring the peace and comfort you're looking for! :)

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