Sunday, August 22, 2010

Turn the Page

Today with the drizzly, gray skies and cool breeze blowing across the cornfield, was the first day this summer that I actually felt like summer was coming to a close and that fall really is right around the corner. I really dislike that feeling a great deal. If I could have it my way, it would be summer-like weather all year long. I love fall, but fall means old man winter is not far behind and he and I just do not get along. So instead of feeling melancholy and desperately sad that my BFF summer is leaving me once again I decided today to dwell on some of the really good things coming my way:

With the change of seasons just about here, I got to thinking today about what that means for me personally. One of the really nice benefits to my daily walk/jog after dinner is that it allows me some nice, quiet, uninterrupted thinking-time, and things like this come up during that time.

In the fall of my 45th year comes a brand new chapter, brand new page for me and in part I'm looking forward to them. I say "in part" because I'm not really sure how those changes will play out so I'm a little reluctant to get too excited about them. You see, for those who don't already know, this will be my first new school year as a former homeschooling mom. Well, the first new school year in 10 years, that is. It's been just long enough since I was a 100% public school mom that I honestly can't remember what it's like to not have any kids in the house during the day. I do remember that my house was much more tidy, but that's about all. I really don't have any idea what I did with my time for 6+ hours a day, but I sure know what I plan to do with it when school starts this year.

One of the things I'm really looking forward to? Cleaning my house. I know that may sound terribly boring but it's not at all boring for me. I've said for years that I am a Felix Unger living in a family of Oscar Madisons (and if you're under 30 you likely wont have a clue what that means) and it's the absolute truth. When all the kids were little and too short to make very big messes, my house was always neat and tidy and well cared for. That was a really long time ago, and as I began to homeschool and had my time taken up during the day with schooling, I didn't have a whole lot of time for housekeeping aside from the must-do's like dishes and laundry. I don't have any idea how long it will take me to de-clutter, de-mess, de-odorize my entire house, but the project has already begun and will be in full swing come September 7th. We're already clearing out dresser drawers and bagging up an insane amount of bags for Goodwill, and soon I'll be making a run to drop all those off. It's hard to focus on one room at a time, but that's the plan for when school begins in September.

One of the other things I'm really looking forward to is stepping up my efforts to get myself off my duff and into shape. On July 26th I began walking every evening after dinner, and that's been one of the best things I've done for myself in a really long time. I've recently pumped that up a little and now I walk part of the way and jog part of the way for a full mile. I think the last time I jogged anywhere was a few years ago when one of the kids screamed from upstairs and I bolted through the house and up the stairs to see what was wrong. The thing is, stay at home moms just don't have the opportunity to do a whole lot of jogging or running for any reason, and you really find out just how out of shape you are when you have to do it. I really do not want to be that mom, so I've taken matters into my own hands. The daily mile is great and I love it, and I'm going to be adding to that come September. I'll switch my walk to morning, add swimming for one hour twice a week at the local pool, as well as adding biking to my walk route twice a week (alternating days from the swimming) and back on my elliptical when the weather turns and prevents me from walking, jogging or biking. Yes indeed, I'm really looking forward to that!

Still another thing to look forward to is getting back into a weekly routine. As much as I love to stay up as late as I want (I'm 45, so why do I still feel like I'm 14 when I get to stay up until 2am?), I actually function much better when I'm locked into a routine as I am during the school year. Kev's on the worst possible rotating, continental shift and that does not help at all. One of the things that has suffered greatly this summer from this nutty routine/lack of routine/changing routine is our church attendance. As much as I try and get everything and everyone ready Saturday night, Sunday morning comes and I generally feel like a bus ran over me and have no energy to get dressed and out the door by 9:30 to make it to church on time. Once fall arrives and church service goes back to 11am and I'm back in my school routine it will be a great help for us in getting back to being in church. I love my church and I miss being there, and the kids do too.

There are lots of other things to look forward to as well, as fall is just around the corner. Like, no more flies and mosquitos. No more humidity that makes everything so horribly sticky and damp. Quiet time in my house that just might afford me the leisure of finally getting to that stack of unread books, when I'm done cleaning or working out for the day. The first whiff of wood smoke in the air, as someone fires up their woodstove or fireplace for the first time. The brilliant color change with all the maples in the area. And last but certainly not least, buying that awesome cookbook with a billion crockpot recipes and trying out some new and yummy and healthy cockpot dinners! I love my crockpot and when I put the Sunday roast in it this morning as silly as it sounds, I realized how much I have missed cooking with it over the summer. We tend to eat a lot of grilled foods, cold sandwiches, salads and finger foods in the summer, so there isn't much crockpot cooking (or oven, for that matter) going on for several months at a time.

So those are just a few of the things I'm looking forward to, Lord willing of course. I may miss summer, but each season has some pretty great things that come with it as well.

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe