I woke up this morning to the raucous honking of geese overhead. Out here in the mountains, there is no more distinctive harbinger of fall. Leaves may change color at any time between now and November depending on weather conditions, but these geese are on a schedule hardwired by nature. You can’t deny it: summer is almost gone. And I have never anticipated fall more than this year.
Some quick highlights from spring/summer 2013 …just for posterity’s sake:
- Father died
- Layoff pending
- Doctor appointments
- Gardens swamped
- Rodent invasion*
* The squirrels in my attic were scared off when the pigeons moved in. (Is this an improvement?) They then took over my garden and ate every leaf off my vegetable plants. I’m not feeling that rodent love this summer.
And did I mention the rain? Admittedly, we didn’t get the heaviest rainfall amounts in the region, but it has been cloudy and damp since…. oh, I’ve lost count now. My clothes are musty, my leather shoes caked with mildew, and my poor cucumbers and tomatoes didn’t stand a chance. This was not the summer I dreamed of. And I want a do-over.
Fortunately, fall is looking one heck of a lot better. In the words of my favorite Algerian author, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” I might not get my do-over, but I do my second spring. And I plan to enjoy every leaf-falling, nippy night, and sweater-weather day of it.
What do I have to look forward to?
1) A new job. Not just any job, but a job that I dreamed of for years. Non-profit and community oriented, and in a history/architecture-related organization. Did anyone else notice that this is mildly related to my degree(s)? And they say liberal arts education doesn’t pay! OK, so it doesn’t pay. But it should be more rewarding than any my compliance career.
2) Clean bill of health. Not that I believed anything was truly wrong with me, but all those positive test results coinciding with my entering “that time of life” ramped up my well-establish anxiety. There are just so many new aches, pains and sensations to process now. Of course, I don’t get a free pass for all the stress/depression weight I gained a few years back. But with weight as my only focus, I should have better results. [Sadly, I’ve lost 20 pounds and no one has even noticed. That’s one heck of a weight gain to overcome!]
3) Volunteering. I am a huge proponent of volunteering, yet I’ve barely participated in recent years. When I left Richmond, my goal was to work towards a new career in grant writing. I found a volunteer job with a gentleman at PBS….and then the state slashed all money and he was gone. By the time I started a job at the bank, I’d just about given up on the idea. And then I was introduced to the idea again in drips and drabs. I volunteered to pour beer at a beer fest and was partnered with a grant writer, which started my thinking. I mentioned to my (soon-to-be) new employer that I was interested in grant writing, and he agreed to include me in the process (at least on some level). I asked a co-worker about her connections, and she directed me to a person who then hooked me up with a mentor grant writing position at Habitat for Humanity. HABITAT FOR HUMANITY! Hello!! Talk about being right up one’s alley. I’m feeling pretty hopeful this time around.
4) Joining. Yep, me. This committed non-joiner is joining a community chorus. I idea kinda cracks me up and horrifies me at the same time. Not the singing part, but joining a group and meeting new people. I have spent a lifetime honing my acutely introverted lifestyle, and I’m more than a little nervous. It will either be pleasant departure from the norm, or sent me straight to Western State. Stay tuned!
5) New roof. This is a biggie. My folks graciously offered to take up the burden of my leaky, deteriorating roof (thank you!) and I will have a new pretty metal roof come winter. I never minded the leaks, but it has been my albatross. There’s no way I could sell my house with the old roof in that condition, and knowing I can’t sell the house is paralyzing. Not that I plan to move, mind you. But I need to have to freedom to move. Now I’m re-energized to finish the rest of my projects. I so look forward to the day when I look around the house and don’t see only renovation projects.
I suspect I’m leaving something out, but that’s the big stuff. And all in a 3-month turnaround! As I look back over my list, I’m reminded that none of these events are the final answer to anything. They are just the beginning steps in my continuing effort to live the life I know I was meant to live. The rest is up to me.