Today is fall. I know we all know this fact, except for those that can profit from the gratuitous and preemptive, pre-extension of holidays. For the last many weeks, commercially, Halloween, fall and even Christmas have been figuratively pushed down my throat. Stressed by the almost never-ending list of back-to-school requirements, requests and requisitions of my time: my mind has mutated this premature “let’s-get-ready-for-the-holidays” mindset into a beast that waits, attempting to insert itself into my already hustled back-to-school month.
So, I vented my rebellious indignation against this unwanted pressure in the only way I could think of: boycotting. Did Starbucks notice that I had sworn to not order a pumpkin Frappuccino or latte until fall? No. And, a local department store did not take down their Christmas decorations because I openly gawked in incredulous dismay. For goodness sake, it was very early September and I was shopping for back-to-school socks! And yeah, just days ago, that was me shaking my head as I entered the local grocery store–the door was flanked with pumpkins on one side and watermelons on the other. I bought the watermelon. After all, I was still wearing flip-flops and it was still technically summer. My right to enjoy a season or event in its proper time frame is being taken away–it’s being taken away from everyone.
Sometimes it feels like I’m running a marathon, making it to the last mile of the race and the welcome banner is being taken down–and a new race has already started without me. The week before school and for a few weeks after, days are packed with deadlines, never-ending packets of paperwork, new schedules and myriad of other changes or commitments or demands that need tending to ASAP. I want to be present for that reality and not be distracted by the impending onslaught of the next busy race. I mean really, photos of pumpkin “frapps” proudly posted around Facebook the day before my kids even started the school year.
You might be asking, “what the heck does any of this have to do with a writing blog?” Because I have been struggling, that’s why. I have not worked on my current novel in over a month. There I said it. I feel a mix of shame and regret to admit that, but it is true nonetheless. I could produce a hugely long list of things I did complete, or have almost completed, but I won’t. Perhaps venting against the commercial industry is merely a self-soothing way to lessen my guilt at allowing my writing to fall victim to a busy month–or maybe not.
So now it is officially fall. I can sense a return of “normalcy”(if that even exists). My kids’ schedules & my volunteering days are plotted, their afterschool events aligned and routine(mostly), the long back-to-school nights have come and gone, almost all of the paperwork avalanche has been completed and returned to school. Now, I can return to writing and hopefully get back into a fitness routine, and organize the unorganized remnants of summer, but first I must tackle the laundry(yes, this is what just a few days of falling behind looks like)!!! Oh, and my writing space, yet that is another blog posting all together!