Fall is here
Change is among us
Leaves are dropping
Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back
What happens to you this time of year? Do you go inside and begin the first steps of the winter retreat? Do you throw the last hurrah for the rays of sunshine that remain?
In the face of changing seasons, when it comes to taking care of YOU, how can you bring the fun back?
So this weekend on 9/21/19 I decorated for Halloween with the kids. It’s a first, this early readiness. I usually dread the decorations as a working mom, feeling there is never time to do it but having unlasting mom guilt about not doing it big or bold enough every time. You know, those people that pull out all the stops—they have the skeletons and the talking heads and the fog machines and infinite fake cobwebs out front. That is not me. I hand 2-4 things tops and call it good. My kids are young, they think it is still great.
This weekend, not only did they want to decorate, they wanted to pick out their costumes. Off we went to galavant around town to get our creative inspiration going. On 1st and Broadway (where the real costume shops were that they were not interested in at all) I found the wig section. Now my birthday is in January and I will be 40. On my 21st birthday I got an electric blue wig as a gift and it transformed the winter doldrums and became my good luck charm through the rest of college. I wore it through physics tests and even the MCAT to get into medical school. My 30s, however, have been a bit of a slog. I did three years of residency, working 80 hours a week. Followed by having two babies and opening two medical practices. It’s been, lets just say, busy. Sometimes I worry I am not as FUN as I once was. Which, of course, prompted me to get this lovely new purple wig.
Sunday afternoon I got lost in a 2019 twilight zone. Suddenly, headed across town to a friend’s house I had not yet visited, my phone went on the fritz. It was completely unresponsive. Unusable. No reset possible. Just a death circle of lock and unlock and receiving calls that couldn’t be answered but no other functionality. As a doctor, on call often (and at the time) this was a nightmare. Not to mention, it rendered me completely powerless. I could not find my friend, nor call or text her my problems. I drove along the frontage road of a deserted I-70 (which was weird enough) and wandered into Northfield mall. I got out of the car thinking, I should take this wig off, I don’t even feel like wearing it.
Then I remembered, this was exactly what the wig was for. Bringing light heartedness to the situation. I found a Verizon store and waited, and waited. The wig and I struck up a conversation with several other nice people patiently waiting for their new devices. They kindly let me have a phone, a link to the outside world to reach across the Apple casm and find a repair solution. I walked into Best Buy and said to the geek squad agent, wig and all. “This is my phone it needs CPR. It is completely unresponsive. I have heard you are a doctor.” He fixed it in two minutes flat. We all left with smiles (and I in wonder, if only humans were as easy as a ‘hard reset’ when you need one)!
In the face of adulting, summer leaving and winter coming here we have arrived at fall. You can see the tidal wave of the holidays coming and smile or sink inside. You can thank goodness for the waning heat or lament its departure. You can dream of the coming snow or abhor it. At the end of the day, you can also choose to mindfully and fully dig in, right here right now.
So close your eyes. Dig into the moment. Take a few deep breaths. Think of something fun. Something silly. Something that brings a smile to your face before you have even invited it. Breathe in that lightness. If you can’t think of anything, don’t beat yourself up. Think of me, traveling aimlessly around town in a bright purple wig, hopelessly disconnected and ironically, reconnecting.