Let's Chat: It's Officially Fall

My dear readers, it's high time that we sat down and had one of our seasonal chats.  Let's pick a bench outside, admire the early stages of the changing leaves, and catch up.  Do you have a drink to sip?  Maybe a pumpkin spice latte?  Or a Diet Coke with ice?  Sweet tea?  Just some water?  If we were doing this in person, now would be the time for me to tell you that you're having a good hair day.

And since chats happily meander from topic to topic, we'll do the same.

The Weather.  The weather!  We recently endured a stretch of rain, and when I say "stretch of rain" I mean that it rained approximately seven times per day, nine days per week, for a small eternity.  The daily question was not if it would rain, but rather when it would rain.  Soccer practices were upended, grass grew yet was unable to be mowed, and the world appeared drab and gloomy.

But then the sun came out!  We emerged from the tunnel and experienced a few glorious fall days!  I'm grateful.

Turning a Calendar Page.  I'm not sure if this is normal, but I take inordinate pleasure when turning a calendar page.  The new page looks so fresh, so full of potential.  I also enjoy turning a page of my syllabus course schedule, and on a smaller scale, crossing off individual days on a calendar.  I don't know if this signifies productivity and healthy closure, or if it's become some strange and visible ritual where I scratch out my life.

Meal Planning.  You know those people who have a knack for introducing new meals into their dinner repertoire and always know what they'll eat when?  I'm not one of them.  My family eats, of course, but certain days in the kitchen are characterized by a frenetic, scavenging vibe, rather than advanced foresight.  But for the past two weeks I've been on a kick.  I've written a weekly menu on a post-it note, stuck to the plan, and then packed leftovers each day for lunch.

I am such an adult.

Cleaning My Inbox.  Earlier this week I devoted an hour to cleaning my work inbox, primarily digging through older folders of archived correspondences and resources.  With each click of the delete button, I felt lighter.  Clearly, this is the digital equivalent of cleaning out a closet.

When You Get a New Bag.  Late this summer, I bought two new bags: a professional backpack to carry on campus since the strap on my old work bag had ripped, and a navy Vera Bradley purse that I picked up at a garage sale for three dollars.  I hope I'm not alone in this, but whenever I transfer my belongings to a new bag (especially when I've used the prior one for years), I always experience a confusing period where I have no idea where items truly belong since I haven't yet found their best, most permanent place.  During this phase, I regularly can't find my keys, or my phone, or that chapstick that used to be so readily available, and I am a hot mess of disorganization.

But then it happens: the new bag finally starts to make sense and become second-nature.  I'm happy to tell you that I've reached that point.

The Garage Sale Season is Closing.  I love fall deeply -- the leaves, the cute layers and boots, the crisp air, the mums and pumpkins -- but the arrival of fall means that garage sales, one of my favorite spring and summer activities, is drawing to a close.  I had such a wonderful run of garage saling (yes, it's a verb) this summer.  (In fact, I'll be posting my favorite garage sale finds and corresponding DIY projects in the coming weeks.  Get ready!)

Hands down, the end of garage sale season is the saddest thing about summer ending for me.

The Five Stages of Post-College-Football-Loss Grief.  Oh man.  This past Saturday evening, my team (Penn State) experienced a heartbreaking final-minute loss against a Team Who Shall Not Be Named.  Since my husband serves as Penn State's team chaplain, I get to know many of the players well.

My reaction to the loss was textbook.  First, there was denial.  ("That did not just happen.  It's impossible that the game just ended like that.  There's been some mistake.")  Then came anger.  ("NO!  This is stupid!  Our guys played their hearts out!  Buckeyes, schmuckeyes.  Who names a kid Urban, anyway?")  Close on its heels was bartering.  ("If we could rewind time and call a different play, all of this would just go away.")  Then came the forth stage (depression) where I wallowed in post-game commentary on all forms of social media.  I finally reached the final stage (acceptance), directed my eyes to the next game, and consoled myself that there are still plenty of good bowl game prospects.

I love college football.  There's drama and movement each and every week.

There's Much More to Life than Football.  Praise God.  This is so very true.

And on that note, I'll end our fall chat with this parting quote by Robert Jones Burdette:

"There are two days in the week upon which and about which I never worry.  Two carefree days, kept sacredly free from fear and apprehension.  One of these days is Yesterday... And the other day I do not worry about is Tomorrow."

Yes, my dear readers, may your weather not be overly rainy, your meals be planned, your bags be organized to your exact specifications, your favorite team win (unless they're playing against my favorite team, in which case I hope they're crushed yet you find solace in your own five stages of grief), and of course, may your yesterdays and tomorrows be free from worry.

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