I said I was going to spend January getting my act together before settling back in here, but I miss writing. So I thought I’d revisit a few more of the questions you asked last year that I never got around to. I’m telling myself to keep my answers brief – a couple of paragraphs – something I can knock out in just a few minutes. We’ll see how that goes.
Since I was just talking about transitions, I thought I’d address Sue’s question about seasonal transitions, although I’m not sure about the specifics here. I know that they can be tricky to navigate for a lot of people – particularly in the fall and in the spring. One of the things I like best about where we live is that we have four distinct seasons here. There are things that I love about each one of them, and I try to focus on those things as we launch into each new one. And there are things that get old each season, and although I try to just enjoy where I am in the moment, I still can slide into complaint mode. In my defense, how much swing can the human body really tolerate? We’ve experienced a 114 degree difference in recorded temperatures in the last six months (July-January), and nearly 140 degrees difference between wind chill and heat index for the same time period. So maybe a little griping is justified.
More than anything, I love the anticipation of the coming season. Each one allows me the opportunity to relinquish something for awhile, and embrace something new. It’s hard for me to let go of running in the winter, but the darkness forces me to do it – even more than the cold does. Every year I give a feeble attempt to move the running indoors, but it never sticks. Instead, I focus on other forms of physical activity – and this winter I’ve really pushed myself in strength training. I know that the gym will hold less appeal once the days grow longer and the temperatures start to rise. Those late winter / early spring runs are just glorious – even more so after a brief hibernation.
I miss the academic year in my adult-always-working mode. But I get a taste of it with the girls. I love summertime, and all the things that we pack into it, despite working full time during it. I love those hot and sticky nights at the Muny and the abundance of the farmer’s market. And just when blasting the air conditioning starts to get old, the days reach perfect running weather status again and I can fly. If I could freeze anytime, I’d stretch out fall a little longer. I think it can be a difficult time – it definitely feels like grief season for us, and I find that there are a lot of triggers for that in the season itself. I also have to actively work against feeling anxious in the fall. Part of it is just feeling like the season is so fleeting – sometimes it feels like the busyness of upcoming holiday season creeps in earlier and earlier. And I miss the sunlight, and each day that feeling increases a little more. But I think it’s good for me to practice at letting it go. Maybe that’s what fall does for me each year, forces me to turn off a few things, one by one. Let a few things slide, stop chasing (or fleeing) things, and settle into them a bit, in the dark. Because the sun will surprise me again in January, and the temperatures will surpass expectations at some point during February, and March will bring new bulbs and earth smells and magic and I
can’t can wait.