I love Fall. I mean, L-O-V-E it. I love Halloween, school parties, the anticipation of my kids costumes and trick-or-treating on a cold autumn night, spooky movies on Netflix, hot cocoa, I love the smell (not necessarily the taste) of pumpkin spice. I love candles and chili and hot cookies straight from the oven. I love the vibrant colors of the trees, which reach their prime just before letting go. I love children’s stories about Halloween and the festive holidays that follow.
I love the Hallmark channel. I love putting my Christmas tree up early so I can enjoy it longer and take it down as soon as Christmas is over, because I am usually tired of looking at it by then. I love casseroles and crock pots and the smell of deliciousness wafting through the house when I get home from work. I love dark mornings and darker nights. I love anything utilizing the word harvest.
Shoving my Type A personality where it belongs
I have this nagging feeling that arrives every year around this time. I am sure this comes from my Type-A, perfectionistic, obsessive compulsive personality disorder that relentlessly screams in my ear: “You can’t decorate for your favorite time of year until you are caught up on laundry and dishes; until the bathrooms are clean and the dining table is not piled high with kids’ homework, half-finished craft projects, and unread flea market books.”
My ego tells me I cannot enjoy what I truly love until all my womanly, motherly, adulty jobs are done. The sad thing is that I have listened to this ridiculous, nagging, negative Nancy for years.
Not this year, Satan. Not this year.
I am going to leave my car in the driveway today when I get home and I am going to hunt down those Halloween and Autumn stuffed- to-the-brim-Rubbermaids like a hunter the first week of open season. I am going to enlist my children to assist (bribery will likely be infused at this juncture) and we are going to decorate the heck out of our house for my favorite time of year.
I will not let the dirty clothes on my bedroom floor deter me from this very real desire I feel deep within my soul. I will close the bedroom doors to my children’s rooms so that I don’t feel guilty doing fun chores over necessary chores. I will constantly remind myself that my house, my work, my responsibilities, and my life do not have to be perfect to indulge in that which I love.
You have permission to enjoy fall like the pumpkin-spice-loving-mom you are
Sure, some parts of my house may look like a garage sale nightmare, with no rhyme or reason to the order in which they appear. But guess what? Tonight, when I sit in my favorite rocking chair for the first time nearly all day, I will see my treasured porcelain lighted haunted houses displayed on my Grandmother’s old chest of drawers.
I will smile at that precious micro-fiber lighted scarecrow staring down at me from whatever surface I can clear off to reserve a perfect place for her to perch. I will turn the AC up and pretend it is less than ninety-some degrees outside. Knowing the temperatures will plummet soon enough gives me proper permission to pretend.
Last year, I left my holiday décor in full storage in my garage. I felt that life was too busy, too complicated, too far from perfection to add one more non-essential thing to the list.
This year will be different
This year will be different. I do not have to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s. I hereby vow to myself to focus on the things that bring me joy. The small household indulgences I can look forward to at the end of each long day at work. The memories made with my children, while they are still young enough to create those lasting memories of home.
This year, things will be different. My house will look like Halloween, for better or worse. And those nasty annoying cobwebs in the corner of each room? Well, those can wait for another day. Or, perhaps I will just leave them as ambiance, adding to the haunted feel I am so keen to create in our home.
The older I get, the more I realize that life will never be perfectly aligned with my expectations. And that is okay. I can still put forth effort toward those treasured parts of life that bring joy. And let the rest fall away, just as the bright red, orange, and yellow leaves at the end of my favorite season.