Saturday, October 31, 2015

What I learned in October

Since we are entering into the seasons of sharing and giving and thankfulness and generosity, I'm going to take it upon myself to steal an idea I've been seeing on some of the blogs I enjoy reading.

See, by stealing their idea I am giving them an opportunity to be generous by sharing it with me. I'm thoughtful that way.

Basically, the idea is that you take a look back at the month you've just traveled through, pause to reflect and see what you've gained in the past thirty days, and then get ready to tackle the next month.

Would anyone like to take bets on how long I can sustain this new endeavor? It would really help if someone could remind me of this plan about 30 days from now. Any takers?

Anywhoooo... here goes...

What I learned in October:

1. Writing everyday is hard.
You may remember that I kicked off October four days late with a plan to write everyday of October. (After having already missed the first four.) If you haven't been checking in regularly, let me spare you the suspense: I did not write everyday of October. I did not even write everyday of October after the first four days that I missed. Counting today, I wrote six days in October. 

But I wrote zero days in September, so...winning!

2. Old friends are awesome.
I feel very fortunate to have quite a lot of friends who would qualify as old friends. Not because we are old, because we are in fact perpetually young, but because I have known them a long time. I have one friend I have known since birth, another since preschool, and another since Kindergarten. Again, I'm not saying we are old but that is starting to add up to a lot of years.

There was a time when college friends didn't necessarily count as old friends because college just wasn't all that long ago. Newsflash: college is officially now "a long time ago." But the funny thing about college friends is when you are in the moment it's hard to know which friends are going to last beyond graduation. And maybe you get so forward focused on everything you want to come next like living independently, a career, new places and experiences, perhaps marriage and a home, you aren't even sure how much those friends from that sliver in time will matter down the road? 

They will matter. And if almost 25 years later you can still gather together and sing silly sorority songs while also hashing out every important and not-so-important detail in your lives today, you will count yourself one of the luckiest people in the world. 

I can't explain what is happening here.
But it makes me smile.

3. Halloween memories are fun. Halloween itself, not so much.
If you know me IRL (that's internet speak for In Real Life, just another public service announcement from me to you), then you know Halloween is not my favorite holiday. There are lots of reasons for this including, but not limited to, the fact that I have been both a full time and substitute teacher and there is no horror that could ever be matched in even the most terrifying haunted house than what it is to work in an elementary school on Halloween. 

That being said, Halloween does make for some sweet memories (Memories-as in, the past. The past tense is really the critical component of any feelings of nostalgia and sweetness). 

Since we are currently still in the present tense, I am counting the minutes until this one is over.

4. There are different degrees of going AWAY to college.
Here's the thing, I'm not discounting in any possible way the momentous occasion of your child going off to college whether he/she stays close to home or goes miles, and miles, and miles away. It is all HUGE because regardless of how often you see your offspring, it is still a transition to the next step in life which is, hopefully, them living completely on their own and away from you. It's big no matter how you slice it.

Buuuuut...... Now that I have my firstborn living two states away rather than just over two hills and a quick jog to the right....yeah...that's different. 

I think the oddest part of the whole thing is how much you get used to it. You stop thinking about it and their absence becomes, well, normal. But then there are the moments that sneak up on you and you catch yourself whispering, "I wish Jack was here." 


5. When you work in ministry, Christmas starts in October.
If you've been following along, you know that I already succumbed to listening to some Christmas music (Not 24/7 or anything, people! Just as motivation for some gray, chilly dog walks. And maybe once or twice while cooking dinner....and cleaning the house....and folding laundry...). Frankly, in truth I don't really feel all that apologetic of this behavior, but in further defense of my early Christmas enthusiasm, I have to tell you that when you work in any sort of ministry/church-related field, Christmas begins in October. 

Do you know how many Sundays I have before I have to have all of my little kiddos, ages 2-13, ready to perform a Christmas pageant for the congregation?! SIX! And let's remember, this is not like school where a teacher has her kids five days a week. I have six Sundays to make sure everyone knows their lines, the songs, and where to move. I write the script each year which means that I need to be handing out scripts NEXT WEEK to give everyone time to memorize their lines.

You have no idea. There is not a chance I will be getting out of yoga pants this week until that script is done.

So, mock if you must, but if Christmas music gets the creative juices flowing then I am not going to fight it. 


So, that's it.

I wish  I had some great makeup tips or book recommendations or the secret to losing 10 pounds, but I need to save some brilliance for November. 

Hopefully next month will be chalk full of ready-to-use tips with all sorts of practical life application possibilities. 

I'll try.

Just as soon as I get that Christmas pageant script written.

Happy Halloween and bring on November!!

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