With the change in weather from less Face of The Sun days and cooler evenings and mornings and that inevitable change of the angle of light, even I am forced to admit that Autumn may have finally arrived.
With Autumn - and October - comes the sprint to the end of the year. I say "sprint" because that is what the last quarter of the year seems to have become over time.
Commercially, we have now entered the season of Halloween/Dios de las Muertas/Thanskgiving/Pre-Christmas/Hanukkah/Christmas/New Year's Eve. If that looks like a run-on listing, it is because that is exactly what it has become: more and more, it seems that websites and stores just "get it all out there" at once. I am sure this simplifies their advertising lives and they can just roll the unused stock back into the warehouse for next year as needed ("Giant Inflatable Pumpkins? Done. Giant Inflatable Turkeys? Done. Giant Inflatable Godzilla and King Kong with a Christmas Tree? Hold on, two more weeks to run on those").
I suppose as a plus, I can now secure Mallow Pumpkins, multi-colored Candy Corn, and Christmas Mints all at one go. And Eggnog is now a drink available for almost half the year.
For work, I can remember a time within the last ten years where the rhythm of work was a lovely sigmodal S curve the gracefully descended into the Christmas Break, a sort of wind down after a year of activity, allowing employees to enter the holiday with almost a sense of the holiday. Again, no more: work is now a red-lined activity that would make my high school friend's 1969 Ford Mach 1 green with envy as those horsepower's are pushed way up to and over the 350 HP line, a constant driving stream of activity. Conveniently goals are also tied to completion right before the end of the year, so that employees can not just greet the break with Joy, they can collapse into a heap and pretend to pack holiday celebrations into the 1.5 days before the holiday actually occurs.
For me - as kind of a change up from my usual "Stumbling on through the list of things to do", I am making a choice to carefully choose what I want to accomplish, acknowledging 1) The Work Schedule as listed above; and 2) the fact that it is a holiday season, and I would like to celebrate something.
For "Things I want to do", that list has become pretty focused. This blog, of course (because, frankly, therapy is expensive and blogging is free). The Winter Garden - which to be fair, is four to five hours of hard work, followed by maintenance. Keeping with my nascent language skills, one for Iai (Japanese) and one for the upcoming 2023 trip (Greek). Specific projects for the time off (I have my shirt pattern from Folk Wear; sewing over Thanksgiving, and cheese of course). Regular training, gym and Iai. Attending to the house and vehicle related chores I having been putting off because, well, they are not novel and therefore not "interesting". Tying up loose ends for TB The Elder and getting The Ranch ready for Winter.
It is not a glamourous list of course, and I have never tried something this focused before - it means putting a great many "boy, I should do that" on the shelf, at least until the New Year rolls around. That is not really a natural reaction for me.
But this year, for some reason I feel I need the focus. Autumn and the entry of Winter and the holidays (and we have a splendid lot during this season, including the somewhat forgotten and Veteran's Day) should be something to be enjoyed and celebrated, not something to be rushed through because of the World and Work. And if they are not going to slow down - and they are not - then I consciously have to.