(Here's a soundtrack for you.)
(Because you'll likely be singing it in your head by the end of this post anyway.)
This morning, in my laundry room, I turned over a new month in the calendar I keep there.
Usually, in normal times . . . the Before Times . . . September always felt like the start of things; a more real "new year" for me than January ever tends to be.
I'm sure it's that starting-school-again, academic kind of mind set that has never left me. September always feels like a fresh start to me (a "clean slate," as Gretchen Rubin calls it). After a summer break (because doesn't summer always feel like a break?), September is always that month where activities begin again and "structure" returns. It's when the more casual rhythm of summer is replaced by the steady drumbeat of fall.
And as much as I love summer, I'm usually very ready for the routine of fall to kick into gear again.
Except . . . Nothing feels quite the same this year.
'Cause we live in a time
When meaning falls in splinters from our lives . . .
Sure. There will still be some structure. My watercolor class will reconvene next week (via Zoom), for example. But most of the other things I would ordinarily be building into my calendar are . . . well. They are gone. And because we can (with wide-open calendars and the reality that Tom can do his work from anywhere now), we'll be holding the cabin open and the boats in the water a little longer up north this year. Which will further blur the lines between summer-casual and fall-routine for me.
So. September is lacking its usual punchy freshness this year. And that made me a little bit sad last week when I allowed myself to accept how much I was missing that very fresh-start kind of feeling. And that led to a lot of reflecting about . . . Time. Which has really taken on a weirdness for me since the pandemic started. All the days are so similar now. They all seem so . . . alike. Even the weekends don't have much to set them apart from the rest of the week anymore. And, somehow, inexplicably, time seems to be going both really fast and super slow. At the same time.
'Cause we live in a time
When paintings have no color, words don't rhyme. . .
I got to thinking that . . . maybe I should just give up on thinking about time. Not altogether, of course. Not time as in the clock or the days of the week. I'm not talking about chucking my planner or schedule here and ignoring time altogether. But, well. Maybe it's time I stop thinking about months, chunks of time. . . as discrete. Or meaningful. Time is a circle after all, and it's not like everything changes just because you turn over a new page on the calendar (even though we might like to think it does).
This year, as part of my one-little-word explorations, I've already been paying a lot more attention to the flow of time; trying to tune into rhythms instead of calendar pages.
I've been marking the moon phases.
Celebrating the seasons.
Embracing Mother Nature.
I'm expanding the ways I'm thinking about time.
The rhythms are there.
The framework is just different.
And I think it's time I just . . . go with that.
A little bit more; a little more freely.
September? Hello. Goodbye!