Autumn has arrived and Mary-Jane Duncan isn’t sure if this actually symbolises a new stage of her life.
Autumn has arrived and I’m not sure if I mean the physical season OR this stage of my life. Politicians, doctors, teachers, police officers all seem ludicrously young. I now have a favourite cup and it throws me if someone else uses it.
Descending a flight of stairs is done carefully with consideration give to which foot to lead with. I refuse to purchase shoes that require being ‘worn in’. No supermarket trips are undertaken without a list lest something be forgotten. I have been known to spend a small fortune and arrive home to find we’ve no milk for a cuppa.
Sneaky naps are no longer luxurious and are hurtling toward a necessity, and when I choose my year of birth on any online form it’s like spinning a roulette wheel in Vegas.
Music, temperature and colours. The three things I believe alter my perception of time. The colours of autumn really are some of my favourite. Leaves on our trees start showing off and refuse to be upstaged. One final flurry before hiding for winter.
Our garden boasts lovely loud, shouty reds, golds, oranges and even inoffensive coppery browns. Occasionally someone might sneak on the central heating but we are also treated to some mild, sun drenched days. The kind of days where you need something more than a t-shirt but less than a winter coat. Car tunes drift from sunshiney summer dance anthems and become a little smoother. The frantic beats bringing with them promises of road trips slow to more mellow songs with less of a sense of hurry.
I love the flavours that autumn brings too. Brambles, apples, plums, pumpkins etc. Cinnamon begins to sneak into baked goods and jam making is replaced with bubbling pots of chutney. Nights begin to draw in as mornings creep through lazily. This autumn delight however, is a weekend phenomenon as Monday to Friday mornings rudely make getting ready for work a more drawn out process.
Autumn, both season AND age wise, has helped me realise a need to assess something termed ‘decision fatigue’. The struggle to juggle it all. Months and months of remotely balancing business needs with family and health demands, all whilst grappling with the unknowns of a global crisis. I surely can’t be the only one? From speaking to some of my closest friends I know that it categorically isn’t just me. Regardless of what stage we are in life, what jobs we do or what age our kids are.
This month I have two best friend’s and himself’s birthdays but otherwise September is almost sadly apologetic as it brings with it no ‘occasions’. We normally manage to eke out a party but lockdown has squashed that this year. October boasts Halloween. November royally shows off with Bonfire night, Diwali AND Thanksgiving all before the excitement of the festive season preparations.
Recently Decembers feel like they’ve almost demanded a month long party. So I admit, I like September. It allows us to say goodbye to the heady days of summer. To catch a breath. To allow us a moment to rest before the madness of wet windy days of winter kicks in.
I imagine this year’s festive season will be a little different. No need for the glam and glitz required for a work night out. As a jeans & trainers gal, I’m not devastated by this. Maybe this year we can all agree to forgo the frantic ‘trying to keep everyone happy’ rushing about that takes over December. Wouldn’t it be nice to run this year at a more leisurely pace?
Perhaps autumn would be a more optimum time to make resolutions rather than immediately after the indulgence of Christmas and New Year? We might be more willing to allow ourselves more quietude to reflect and regroup? To stand back and take notice of beneficial choices made during lockdown and ensure bad habits don’t creep back in. To realise everything doesn’t need to happen immediately. We CAN rest and slow down. To reflect between productivity and slowness whilst letting go of guilt. We are all trying to get by each day under extraordinary circumstances.
I wish I had realised this before we had a global pandemic to contend with too. Time for another nap……