Last night, as I attempted to fall asleep I was kept awake for the first time in months by bits and pieces of a “blog in waiting” tumbling around in my head. I felt delighted, and somewhat daunted, at the prospect of composing an entry after so much time since the last had passed. However, I committed, then and there, to using this newly found hour of daylight savings time to hop back on the horse and give it a go. I then wondered, as I often do, why it is that doing what should be familiar can sometimes feel so foreign?
I can’t speak for any of you, but I can tell you with great certainly and zero shame that I’ve been “falling” behind long before the hands on the clock turned back. The past few months have found me salmon fishing the great lake of Michigan, front and centre at a sold out Avett Brothers show in St. Louis, poolside on a rooftop deck at the hip and happening Magnolia Hotel (sipping mojitos, of course), and most recently, 4 wheelin’ the snow-covered terrain of Labrador City. You’ll never hear me complain about my career, it takes me away to places I might never visit to do things I might never have done. However, it takes me away.
You need not jet off to a far away place to experience the culmination of things left undone; life takes us away. As the leaves begin to turn, and days become more crisp, we contemplate when to take on the task of packing up the swimsuits and hauling out the sweaters. We choose to fill our days doing whatever it is we enjoy with people we love and putting off the inevitable tasks of preparing for winter for another, less glorious, day… and rightly so! anything so precious as With the weather being as unpredictable as it’s been (at least on the East Coast), we marvel aloud at how fortunate we are to have the sun shining on us (“t-shirts in November? ’Magine!”), while quietly revisiting our views on global warming (yes. it’s happening).
Then, all of a sudden, somewhere in between apple picking and wood piling, it happens – the first snowflake falls and the Christmas decorations rear their ugly heads (don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas more than the next guy but see no sense in preparing two months for one day – that being said, preparation isn’t a strong suit of mine, which, come to think about it, is what I’m writing about – I digress).
This fall season has found me cleaning the boat for storage after purchasing Halloween candy for “trick-or -treaters”. Putting away flip-flops while dressed in wool socks, and wondering how every thing and thought that should have a place in my home and head has managed to pile up around me! This fall season has found me undoubtedly, behind. Run for the hills!? Maybe. Or just grab a rake.
When life becomes just a little to complicated, it’s time to do one thing, and one thing only…. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid)!
When you don’t know what to do, do what you know. I know how to rake. I enjoy it. I revel in the feeling of accomplishment that comes over me as my beautifully littered lawn is once again clean and green. I feel my sense of contentment growing with each bag of leaves I fill to the top, knot, and place neatly beside the house. Weird? Maybe, but I’ll bet you know exactly what feeling I’m talking about. Be it painting the living room, shovelling snow, or organizing the sock drawer – it makes total sense to me to engage in behaviour with a guaranteed success rate of 100% when I might be feeling just a little less than that.
As I partake in this somewhat mindless task (realizing that mindless tasks often encourage the most constructive thought, and are rarely mindless at all), I contemplate my surroundings. I noticed the bare branches on the trees, not to mention the leaves still falling and landing where I had already raked (no big deal), and for the first time ever, I thought it odd that as humans we tend to stockpile, layer, and bundle up this time of year, while mother nature is in the process of shedding her leaves and making more space. I wondered why we save “spring cleaning” for spring?
I had an idea! Why not use this extra hour (before the change sets in and it still feels “extra”), to make space; to take a lesson from the trees and let go of what we no longer need to make room for what we may.
“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
― Henry David Thoreau
Give away that sweater you’ve hauled out of your fall clothes bin year after year without wearing it once; it’s never going to fit you like it used to!
Put that ice cream maker you just “had to have” in the pile for goodwill – remember you’re only attempt in using it was an epic fail, plus you don’t do dairy anymore!
Make a plan to take a lesson to learn to play the guitar that’s sitting in the corner that you begged your parents to get you for your birthday (at age 33 when you should be well over asking for things for your birthday, by the way), or lend it to someone who will!
If you’re a dude, which you most likely are not if you’ve managed to get this far into my ramblings, you don’t need 3 whipper snippers and 6 screwdrivers with the same head – downsize!
UN – stock pile, I say! Make way!
As this season falls behind, I plan to get ahead! Wait… I’m getting carried away. As this season falls behind, I hope to catch up. There. That’s more realistic.
As I sit here in front of the fire, tea in hand and bulldog snoring beside me, I feel a weight lifting as I sign off on an enjoyable “activity turned task due to negligence”, thinking “there, that wasn’t so bad”.. as we often do after persevering through whatever it is we’ve been putting off. I realize that what’s most critical to our well-being often times gets put to the bottom of our list, and that if we placed it at the top most things that follow would just “fall” into place.
I decide I won’t wait another year for mother nature to turn back the hands of time to convince me I have more of it. I encourage you to do the same.
Mick knows what’s up.