The transition into fall always seems more jarring than the other seasons; spring naturally slips into summer, and cold fronts give us a mild, brief winter, but the start of school, return of PSLs, and the sudden shifts in decor make the fall transition feel monumental. I’m not complaining – I adore summer and all of its long, warm days, but I love me some fall season, too. Even though the year is three quarters over, fall feels like rebirth, especially this year – a new apartment, a new semester of freshmen faces, a modest promotion at work, an excuse to dye my hair cinnamon red.
This transition also happens after a whirlwind of a summer, a summer that I’m still reminiscing over, so it’s another reason the switch to fall feels particularly abrupt. June was all job interviews, running a summer camp, and 30th birthday celebrations. July was family vacations, boys visiting, drunken nights, harry potter parties, and packing for the pending move.
Now the move is over, classes have started, jobs have not been offered, it’s back into normalcy and routine. Instead of indulging in my usual anxieties, I’m trying this new thing where I don’t feel guilty over a slow (read:boring) day. Where perhaps I let myself enjoy a lazy night reading, or a long sunset walk, or whatever. I need a fall that is stress-free, slow, and self-indulgent. Still, it’s hard to ignore the mental nagging that comes with slowing down my mind and activity. I should be doing more, always! Feeling productive is an addictive high.
But productive days don’t mean I’m successful or even achieving anything important, and I need to remind myself of that more. I don’t want a year to slip by and I’m still just crossing off a daily to-do list, doing the same work without any real achievement, the same portfolio, the same number on the scale. Perhaps the deliberate choice to have a more playful, wandering fall will let the important work, the work I want and need to do, come surging forward. After all, as the queen Shonda Rhimes says:
“Work doesn’t work without play. The more I play, the freer my mind becomes. The more I play, the better I work. The more I play, the more I feel the hum, the nation I’m building, the marathon I’m running, the troops, the canvas, the high note, the hum, the hum, the other hum, the real hum, life’s hum.”