Falling into autumn

I used to enjoy the confluence of seasons; the awkward meeting between weather patterns – one anxious to begin its reign whilst the other tries in vain to retain its glory. Summer will soon lose the battle and fade to the changing colours of the trees and the crisp morning air that belong so adamantly to autumn. Despite my once-strong enjoyment of this seasonal change, for the second year in a row, I find myself quite down over the start of the fall.

I recall the start of the cooler weather last year and the odd feeling that came over me. I should have been excited about shopping for new school clothes and supplies for the kids Paul and I were planning to adopt; excited about attending parent-teacher conferences and school concerts; excited about taking kids trick-or-treating. As I looked out the windows last year, I could see excited children walking to school with their backpacks slung over one shoulder laughing and giggling as they kicked at the fallen leaves. And there I was in an empty house.

The raw pain of last year has subsided, but there is still a bit of grief with the shift of seasons. Maybe it’s because I know that the dream of starting a family with Paul and participating in the joy of the first days of school is a distant memory. Maybe it’s because the fall means the start of the holidays – Halloween is just around the corner followed quickly by Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and even Burns’ Night – or maybe it’s because some days I’m crazier than others.

Side note: I realize that I now have a foster child to care for and that she’s doing the whole “back to school” thing – and more, she’s starting middle school – but it’s not the same. I’m happy to be sharing this time with her, and I think she’s happy to be spending it with me, but we’re not creating a permanent family. We both know it’s temporary – we just don’t know how long temporary will be. If I’m honest, I don’t know if her presence makes me sadder about the changing of the seasons or if it’s making the changes easier on me. I may never know. (This is all said without regret. I really am pleased to have the kid here with me. Really.) But I digress…

Much like last year, I really do want to be excited about the changing seasons. I want to be excited about Halloween and Thanksgiving. And I really want to be excited about chopping wood for the fireplace and getting the house ready for the cold of winter. But I’m not.

I wonder if my apathy toward the changing seasons is because I can’t see where my future is going. With each changing season, I’m witnessing the future I once dreamt of creep further and further away – but I still can’t imagine the new future that will take its place. It seems that the world is changing and that time is marching on, but I’m standing still.

I know that I’m thinking about the future and trying to re-shape it but the part that I’m trying to shape is still so up-in-the-air that I suppose I’m too frightened to believe it may happen. (Is there irony in the fact that some kids dread the start of fall because it means going back to school and that I dread the start of next fall because I fear I won’t be going back to school?)

Anyhow, that’s me today. A bit sad and melancholy about a season that once saw me giddy and excited about school supplies, Halloween costumes, and Thanksgiving feasts.

Note to self: Snap out of it already, you whiny little cry baby!

4 Replies to “Falling into autumn”

  1. I don’t want you to call yourself a whiny little cry baby. (that is said with my hand on my hip shaking my finger at you.) You have found yourself in an unenviable position and if you weren’t melancholy about things, I would wonder if you were human.
    Sometimes all we can do is to keep on keeping on and just trust that everything will happen as it should. Which is easier said than done, I know since I am one of the most impatient, overplanners on earth. But we just have to believe that there is a plan for each of us, and that we will understand someday.
    Anyway, this was so beautifully written. You have an immense amount of talent and I literally get excited when I see you have a new post. No pressure, of course:)

  2. I agree with Amy, that is a truly beautiful post. And you’re not a whiny cry baby – you’re just being honest about how you’re feeling and recognising that things sometimes sneak up and catch you unawares. Understanding them is a good first step. It might not make them less painful but it does help deal with them.
    and while you won’t have the future you thought you would, you will have a different one that in time will bring you joy.

  3. Thanks, ladies! I suppose that I’m still getting used to this whole being sad thing and it seems like for the past year+ that’s happening all too often. (I guess widowhood does that to you!)
    It’s such a change because I used to be the overly cheerful happy clappy person who was never down and never sad. So in juxtaposition, I feel like a bit of a misery guts quite often!
    I am trying to be happy and cheerful and joyful, but sometimes I find that I can’t even fake it!
    Am still feeling a bit blue today, but I’m certain that I’ll snap out of it soon. I hope…

  4. 🙁
    odd but different, but i’m also feeling unsettled about the start of Fall – school begins this week and with it, free childminding, and thus no excuse for me to ‘not get on with things’. it is unsettling and i’m feeling that old churning feeling of panic over something i can’t quite put my finger on. i think i have my plans but at the next turn they don’t seem quite so concrete. so back to stage one in a loop.
    i need to make my plans more concrete then i know i’ll stop feeling so unsettled. i foresee several evenings with a desk, an A4 pad of lined paper and a pencil (always think better with a pencil) ahead while i hash it all out.
    PS: uncertainty and events you cannot control always deliver a double whammy

Join the conversation!