What is it About Autumn?

Is this really happening? Can it be true? Yes, I am posting more than once in a 7 day period. My life has changed for the better because of this momentous occasion. I am making progress. (Hopefully you read that with a hint of sarcasm.)

Is this really happening? Can it be true?IMG_2558 Yes, it is fall!

IMG_2479 - Copy Yesterday marked the over-celebrated beginning to the season. But let’s be real, it’s actually not over celebrated.

Have you ever been to Minnesota? In the fall? Please, do yourself a favor and go.
Have you ever been to Minnesota? In the fall? Please, do yourself a favor and go.

If anything, it’s under celebrated. The start to this majestic season deserves to be celebrated. It truly does.

My question is this: why is autumn so awesome? True, everyone knows that it gives implicit permission for us to spend hours cuddled up in warm blankets, drinking tea; to wear long sleeves even if it’s hot; to pick apples and pumpkins and make millions of baked goods. But there has to be more to it. If peoples’ love of fall truly stemmed from the new found ability to do fall activities with reason, then the change of season would equate only to permission. Yet it is not so.

I spent an afternoon reading and writing in a coffee shop a few days ago. (It’s an activity I highly suggest if you’re looking for a way to embrace fall. Wear boots, order some tea or coffee, and take a seat… preferably near a window. You will not regret it.) The fact that I spent several hours in the coffee shop probably doesn’t come as a surprise to those who know that I’m a writing enthusiast. Writing does wonderful things for those who do it- hands get a work out, minds wander, and hearts are healed.

If you’re looking for something to do today, here’s your challenge: write a letter. I don’t mean a short “just a note” letter, I mean a true letter. From the heart. Pen to paper- simple looseleaf of plan stationary. Share something you’ve never shared before. Write your letter with no implication that a response is requested. Here’s the best part: you get to chose whether or not you send it. Sometimes, the best letters are those that we know will never be read. The reason I went on this writing tangent is because I’m going to share something I wrote while in the coffee shop. It was an unaddressed letter. I was hoping that it would become clear who the letter was for once I began writing, but it never did. The letter had no purpose other than allowing me to write it, so I will keep it for myself (mwahaha).

…So back the beginning. What’s your favorite type of weather? Did you like elementary school? The two relate- I promise. Summer- no school. Fall- start of school. I like fall because it reminds me of excitement and new beginnings. (Usually that’s related to spring, but because I loved school as a kid I see it differently.) People who like summer may see it as freedom. So this fall day today makes me at peace. Where I feel most at home here in human time. And then the dark days of winter come…

Now, rereading it, I realize how full it isn’t. It’s empty. There’s so much more to fall than the feeling of new beginnings! I don’t know what it is about autumn that has given it such a big home in my heart. It’s just a change. And I like that.

Not. Enough. Time.

Have you noticed a theme? Hmm… my last several posts have this kind of cliche “live your life” undertone goin’ on. Not that that’s a bad thing…

Something that I’ve really been trying to embrace lately the idea of living life unedited. Perhaps I’ve mentioned this in a previous post; I wouldn’t be surprised if I have, but I can’t quite remember. What I mean by “unedited” is really just allowing my mistakes to be seen. When we make mistakes, people are going to notice them. Period. There are some mistakes that we can fix before anyone notices them. Even more important, though, is that there are some things that aren’t necessarily mistakes, but rather imperfections, that we feel the need to immediately “fix.” Imperfections are not failures. The reason that I just went on that mini-rant (and the reason I’m going to keep it in this post) is because I want you to know that my intention for this blog is not to be perfect, but to be authentic.Progress

I am probably going to ramble, I am going to make mistakes, I am going to contradict myself… and I want that to be seen. Walk with me. Let’s grow and learn and ramble and process our thoughts and our lives and make mistakes together.

Moving on.

I am visiting my family for a few days while my nanny-family is out of town. While walking to the store today, I delivered a couple letters to families in our neighborhood that I haven’t seen in a while. A list of a bunch of people I should have seen while I was in town starting forming in my head, and I got really sad and even a little mad that I hadn’t thought to make time to see them all.

Most of us have probably been there. Wishing for more time to do this, do that…

And yet here I am, sitting on the couch writing this post when I could have planned to see someone or do something with this time.

Isn’t it kind of funny? We wish for things we don’t have, and when we have them we waste them… or worse: complain about them. When we “don’t have enough time” for something, we wish for more time. When we have too much time, we complain that we’re bored. And then, later, complain that we wasted our extra time. Why don’t we just live. Gosh, to find someone who truly feels that they are living their life fully, using their time wisely, and being able to balance spending time serving others and resting appropriately…that is the dream. If you know of such a person, send them my way. Their secrets to life are formally requested.

What constitutes “wasted time”? Really. I’d like to know. Yesterday, I asked my grandpa (yes, the same guy I mentioned in my previous post) what “wasted time” is. He had been talking about how he wishes to have some of his wasted time back so that he could have spend more quality time with his kids. He said he worked too much. I suppose, for me, I often feel the opposite. I feel that I don’t work enough. I’m not making progress, I’m not doing anything significant or productive. Writing this post almost feels like wasted time in itself.

Maybe it’s just my mindset that needs to change. What does it mean to be productive? What does it mean to waste time? I guess it’s nice because time is not the essence of life. We wish for more time. At the end of life, people want more time here on Earth. Why? Because they feel that life on earth is the end-all-be-all? I’d like to know.

Here’s to never wishing for more time, but learning to accept and love the time we’re given. To fully embrace and fill out minutes until they are bursting with love, joy, and peace… no matter how they are being spent.

[[This is an unedited post. Simply typed & shared.]]

Forever Young

4everI took a week off from posting. Oops. Actually…. I totally did that purposely. For Labor Day. Yeah… let’s go with that.

For anyone who cares, I am currently sitting in my room, lit up by white Christmas lights, enjoying the feeling of a rainy evening and eating warm food. It’s really wonderful. I highly recommend it.

Who out there has ever used the phrase “phone tag”? The first time I used it out loud in a real phone conversation, I felt extremely awkward. I hope to never do it again. For the sake of this blog post, I am going to *type* the phrase, but luckily I won’t be saying it aloud so it won’t feel as awkward. Yesterday and today, my grandpa (“Boppy”) and I were playing phone tag. (Cringe.) I got this lovely voicemail from him today, which I hope to somehow keep forever. When I’m an adult, this message is how I want to remember him, because it sums him up perfectly. Okay, okay, I’ll get to the point! Let me share part of the voicemail and then I’ll explain more.

“…good to hear your voice. You sound so… gosh you’re so grown up. You know, I told you. Maybe I didn’t tell you guys: Don’t grow up. Cause it’s a trap. If there’s one thing you don’t want to do, it’s grow up. Got it? You know what I mean, maybe, huh? Okay, later. Bye.”

If you knew my Boppy, this message would not surprise you. In fact, it would probably make you laugh because he is the epitome of not growing up. He is a grandpa, yet he runs, roller blades, sleds, and does headstands. Each time I talk to him, he gives life advice and/or words of affirmation (that love language must run in the family…). The “typical tidbits:”

  • Don’t spend your life waiting for Friday. Don’t wish time away.
  • I always told your parents you were going be great.
  • Don’t grow up.

He is young at heart. I think he has really enjoyed life, but even so he looks back and wishes he had done it differently; he wishes he hadn’t wished time away. And there he is, giving me the advice to never grow up.

[I’m going to be honest for a second. Well, I’ve been honest this whole blog post… Anyways. I’m not sure where this post is going, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that I really don’t want to grow up.]

After listening to that voicemail, I went back to playing with the one year old I take care of, and suddenly I got really sentimental. AND SHE’S NOT EVEN MY KID! Why was I sad that she’s “growing up”!? My life…

I suppose the only tell-tale sign of growing up is burden. As we grow older, all of our sorrows, our stresses, and our pains are put on our shoulders. Okay, this is getting tacky. But really. The most youthful people I know are those who don’t let their past stumbles and heartbreaks continue to weigh them down.

breathe in. breathe out. it’s okay. don’t wish for Friday. don’t dwell in the past. it’s settled: live for today.

Enjoy today