I'm feeling the Fall crunch.
Not fallen leaves underfoot. Not pecan crumble on my coffee cake. No, I'm feeling emotionally... mentally, crunched.
You know, that phenomenon that happens every Fall when summer phases into 'back-to-school' / back-to-everything / back-to-crazy? The sun starts setting earlier. Pumpkin in every form (drinks, baked goods, color, and the actual thing) is everywhere... all of the sudden... out of nowhere. Week night commitments settle into their slots - taking the place of carefree summer evenings, and filling up the calendar. Primetime TV ramps up (with it's overwhelmingly many promos and ads and "most shocking season premiere ever"s). Parent meetings... committees, fundraisers. The Pottery Barn catalog is suddenly the picture of holiday merriment... Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all in one place. All at once. All done perfectly. It's triple the anticipation. Triple the anxiety. Triple the envy.
There's something about the jolt of moving into Fall that always surprises me. I get lulled by summer sunshine, a lighter schedule, al fresco dining, late bedtimes. Wardrobes consisting soley of tank tops, skirts, and flip flops. The holidays of summer require, at most, figuring out what kind of meat to grill and where to throw down the picnic blanket. Enter Fall, and I'm pinterest-ing like a madwoman - bookmarking the many ways to make veggies into pumpkins and toilet paper rolls into Christmas trees. Can I get away with the Old Navy costume on sale, or dare I venture into the land of the handmade costume? I do not have a map for this land. Nor a compass. For me, it's basically the Bermuda Triangle of Craftiness.
Let me be clear, before you throw your Pumpkin Latte at me... I love Fall. Actually, I adore the colors, flavors, smells, AND Holidays. I think that's why this "crunchy" feeling catches me off-guard. I want to be happy, and merry, and transition well. Instead, I look at my Fall calendar... against my to-do list... and my heart starts beating faster, my comparison muscle starts flexing, my inner introvert screams for attention, and I just want to crawl into a hole and hibernate.
So friends, I'm coming clean. The "crunch" is getting louder, and the air is getting cooler, and I'm drawing my line in the sand that I will not let my joy be robbed. I'm claiming a few truths for myself this season, and I'm putting them in print so I can't pretend I forgot... and you can keep me accountable (you know who you are).
1. I will put relationships above activities. I will choose to spend time with the people who are important in my life over serving on committees, saying yes to things that drain me, and anything that I put a "should" before. A very wise friend often reminds me that "saying YES to one thing means you are saying NO to something else." I will choose my yes's and no's carefully, and not feel guilty if I'm not able to bring home-made pinterest-worthy baked goods to the harvest festival. So be it. I will not be the Princess of Pinterest this Fall (or probably ever). And that's ok.
2. I will resist comparison at all costs. This applies to decorating, cooking, time-management, Halloween costumes, the number of times I exercise per week, the number of times I shower per week, the number of times I wear the same boots/scarf/hat per week... everything, every area. This is not really a transition to Fall deal... I just notice some new pit-falls this particular time of year.
3. I will take a breath, and chill about the state of my house. Maybe it's because I've been outdoors all summer, or maybe it's because I just started closing windows (and noticed the grime all over the windowsills from open windows all summer)... but being in the house more, leaves me prone to obsess over all the things that need to be cleaned/organized/sorted/fixed/re-decorated, etc. I've decided it is time wasted. Obsessing (worrying) about not getting to this, or that, is a w a s t e o f t i m e. But I'm addicted to doing it. So I'm going cold-turkey, folks. I'm going to (try to) stop worrying and just DO something. Clean that fan blade. Pick up the tumbleweed of a dust bunny. Stop worrying about it's family living under my couch, unless I have time in that moment to go get them. Dealing with 1 thing vs. worrying about the 50 things that need attention seems more productive, so I'm going to try it. I may fail miserably. But it's worth a shot.
AND, I'm going to invite the people I love into my mess. If they love me, they will love me AND my dust bunnies. No more putting off dinner invitations because the house isn't up to snuff. Snuff be damned. (that's right, I just cussed a little. That's how fired up I am about dust bunnies and what they do to my psyche)
So here's to Fall... minus the crunch... unless it's a leaf under my boot.