Even through today it still feels like summer outside my kitchen door, I know that the brisk breezes of autumn are just around the corner. There are the pumpkins and the pretty mums huddled together on the deck and the beautiful autumn wreath hangs on my newly painted door, but it won’t be long before the snow descends, covering it all with a silent cloak of white. Perhaps that realization is what makes me feel a little bit like I did back in the early days of spring . . . time to get the house ready for the next season and organize my life. All of which can be challenging when you are still trying to finish up those last few outdoor projects that need to be wrapped up before winter. But somehow, I’m ready to start organizing my October.
When you walk into a store and see the Christmas decorations already sparkling in the twinkling lights on pre-decorated trees, there is a sudden sense of panic. Did I miss it already? But then, you look around and see that, no, you haven’t missed anything . . . yet! On one aisle there are pumpkins and scarecrows, spooky and funny masks, children’s Halloween costumes, and ghoulish yard displays. Since we don’t really pay much attention to Halloween, our autumn themes tend to be more focused on the beauty of the changing seasons and the harvest that we see all around us here in the cornfields and farm lands of northern Indiana.
But just across the way there is a whole array of Thanksgiving home decor, paper plates, cups, napkins, and festive banners with turkeys trotting across them all. More displays of bales of hay with artificial autumn-hued leaves and plastic pumpkins remind me that before we’ve even had time to appreciate the wonderful blessings of autumn, we’re already preparing Thanksgiving dinner. One can even spend hard-earned money buying kitchen towels, rugs, tablecloths, napkins, placemats, and table runners that feature more trotting turkeys. But don’t slow down too long to think about the blessings for which we are thankful!
Because just around the corner you will suddenly find yourself in a holiday / Christmas / winter wonderland where you will be mesmerized by all of the dazzle of ornaments, trees, stockings, wrapping paper / boxes / bows, blinking signs and animated reindeer and Santas telling you what you NEED to buy today. More and more and more stuff to pile under a tree, then shove into the back of a closet or dresser drawer once December has finally come and gone. Today it is still early October, and I refuse to be badgered into wishing my life away for the next three months!
I’ve decided that I am going to focus this week on getting my life, my schedule, my home, and my heart organized, not just for the rest of October, but for the rest of 2018. I am determined that I won’t be rushed through every day at break-neck speed, trying to do everything that the noise all around me tells me I must do if I want a “Merry Christmas” or if we want our family to have “Happy Holidays.” I’ve decided that we are going to have a “Merry TODAY,” and “Happy THIS MOMENT,” and get off the spinning treadmill that dictates what this time of year SHOULD look like. We are going to paint our own picture of autumn, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the holidays, and the rest of the winter, according to our own design.
So, for right now, I’m working on organizing my October. There are a few things that are necessary – dr. and dentist appointments, work obligations, school events, and a few other activities that we have committed to, but I’m taking back my time and dedicating it to doing what is best for my family and for myself, on a daily basis. No more rushing, pushing, calculating how to get a million things crammed into every day. I might even take a walk or go for a bike ride.
Because when the days turn cold and the leaves have drifted peacefully to the ground, I want to be ready to really experience the beauty of autumn. We will rake up the leaves, and clean out the garden; we will prepare the yard for snow, and we will make sure our home is warm and cozy when the winds of winter howl around the corners. And then we will take slow down and rediscover the joy, the beauty, and the wonder of Christmas when we celebrate the true meaning of peace on Earth, goodwill to all men and women.
Making time and taking time to hold each moment as a treasure. That’s why I’m organizing my October . . . so I don’t wake up in January and realize that, yes, I did miss it all. Because I was so frantically busy, I just didn’t have a chance to look around at the beauty of each day. How about you? Do you love this time of year, or do you begin to feel pressured and panicked just thinking about everything you will need to do for the upcoming holiday season? I’ll try to remind you every week that it’s OK to take a deep breath and celebrate the moment. Hope you are having a good week so far!