Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Autumn Leaves

Seasons have come and gone since I last posted, so I approach this post with some embarrassment and a little bit of fear. I hadn't mean to stay away for so long, but somewhere along the way, I lost momentum. I struggle to figure out what to write about, wondering if anything I say is meaningful or interesting to anyone else but me. I wonder if blogging is just a fad whose heyday has come and gone and ponder giving up. But there is an urge to write, so I soldier on.

Now, we're in another season. The leaves are either dropping from the trees, or are now glorious shades of orange and red. There's a crisp chill during the day. The nights and mornings are very cold, with a layer of frost glistening on the grass. It is a welcome respite from the intense heat that Central California experiences from April through September.

The drought left my garden an ugly brown. During the summer, the grass crinkled and crunched as I surveyed my North 40 (okay, it's my North 1/5 acre, but who's counting?) The landscape was so tired and drab and every day, I would sigh with commiseration. I spend most of the spring and all summer feeling weary and dull myself in that unrelenting heat.

But Autumn is here, and it has always meant a new beginning for me. Perhaps this is a holdover from my school days (I still love buying new school supplies), but I always approach the season with such a sense of hope and expectation. Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming. The cold, cozy weather is here. It's time for making plans, for hot chocolate, small town Christmas parades, Christmas crafting, and, please God!, rain, rain, rain for our brown landscape.

I had a new beginning earlier this year, when I finally, FINALLY landed a full time, permanent job (well, as permanent as any job is these days). After two years of working as a temp, the company finally made me a permanent employee.

Is it my dream job? Nope. Do I love my job? Nope. Most of the time, it's okay. Some days, I just barely tolerate it. Do I love having paid sick time, paid vacation, medical, dental, vision, 401K, a stock purchase plan, a retirement plan, paid holidays and an hourly wage that's a lot more than the minimum wage I was making? You'd better believe it!!

I wish I could say that I've finally found a job that I love, but I can't. Part of living a happy life is accepting the fact that life is filled with compromise and sacrifice. To accept this, we need to recognize that everything good in our lives has a price, whether that's a good marriage or a happy family or a great job or a dream home, or whatever. You give up one thing for something better. For now, I'm giving up the idea of finding a job that I love. In exchange, I've found a job that is a means to an end. I now get to have a life.

So, I sit here at the dining room table, brand new notebooks and pens ready for plans. I have plans for Christmas decorating, plans for next year's garden (assuming that we do get more rain this year), plans for landscaping the front and back yards, plans for a few home decorating projects. In between, there's a new roof that I need to save for, maybe a new grandniece or nephew on the horizon, maybe a brother or sister for Tallulah come spring. Oh, and there's a children's book and a mystery novel that I've been working on forever. So life is full. In the Autumn, I am content.

Thanks for stopping by.