I love fall. I love sweatshirt and denim jacket weather. I love pumpkin spice lattes so much that I don’t care how cliche it is to love pumpkin spice lattes.
However, I tend to have bittersweet feelings at this time of year. I love fall, and I love the holidays. I tend the enjoy the briskness of November and the festivity of December. But I feel a wistful feeling as we approach the time of the year when the days are shorter. The biggest downer for me is the decrease in daylight hours; I dislike when the sun sets at 5 or 6 in the evening. I also struggle with the bitterly cold times of the year, when I have to put on five layers of clothing just to walk to the mailbox.
This struggle I have with fall is indicative of one of my biggest overall struggles – keeping myself in the present moment. Enjoying October for October’s sake, without worrying about what January and February will be like.
This feeling – loving the present while dreading the future – also lines up with how I’m feeling as my waywayway too short maternity leave comes to an end. My six weeks of leave will end on October 17th. I’ve been trying not to think about it too much; I worry that if I think about it, I’ll become too overwhelmed to function and to enjoy the present. How do people do this? Just enjoy the now without anticipating the later with anxiety?
One of my wise and gentle friends often reminds me to come back to where my feet are, and that helps. Not talking about the length of my maternity leave helps, too – in a way, not talking about it is a coping skill I’m using, reminding myself to stay in the now and not to dwell on what I don’t have but to enjoy what I do have.
Today is a brisk and beautiful October day. My infant son is big enough to go in my Ergo 360 carrier and I’m celebrating that with a walk around the farm and down the trail. Life is sweet.