I walked in the park this week wearing shorts and sandals. Everyone I met smiled and said "hi". The trees dumped truckloads of ankle-turning acorns all over everything and the squirrels and chipmunks were happily scurrying around. It was a good day, a magical day. It feels so long ago. Now I'm trying to decide whether or not to pick all my green tomatoes before the cold ruins them. I'm so sick of tomatoes. I'll be so sorry when I don't have garden fresh tomatoes anymore.
I helped a friend with his fall leaves this week too. He lives 15 minutes away in a whole different climate. We spent 4 hours on his leaves but all of mine are still green. Oh okay, maybe we didn't actually do productive things in that whole 4 hours. We might've spent 10 minutes or a couple of hours talking in the driveway, but you know, it still counts. Sort of. We've got to ease into our fall exercise routine.
Our different climates are due to the Great Lakes. I live 2 miles away from Lake Erie as the crow flies. He's more like 10 or 15 miles from the lake. In fall, the lake still holds the warmth of the summer sun. That means my world is a little balmier than my friend's. In spring, the lake is an ice cube making my world colder. So you see, it all works out about even for everyone, I just feel a bit out of step with most of the rest of the world. That's fine. It suits me.
I've always felt a bit out of sync with everyone else. Maybe we all feel that way sometimes? I learned how to pretend to be like everyone else while indulging my idiosyncrasies. Once, I told someone that I was practicing for the day when I become an eccentric old lady. He told me I could quit practicing. That's an achievement that still pleases me. Just wait till I'm truly an eccentric old lady!
At the heart of it, I know we all have to conform enough to get along. At the same time, what's the point of everyone being the same? Everything that makes each of us special is where the magic is. For creative people, it makes our creations interesting. For everyone, our distinctiveness is what makes us an interesting friend or a valuable employee or boss. Maybe the people who aren't good at these things aren't good at them because they're trying too hard to row against their personal current?
Unrelated to any of this, I'm currently reading A Deadly Wandering by Pulitzer Prize winner Matt Richtel. In it, I learned driving while talking on the phone is even worse than drunk driving. It doesn't matter if you're doing it hands-free or not. Texting is even worse. I know many of my loved ones talk on the phone all the time while driving. Please stop. Whatever you've got to say can wait. You can read more about the statistics here.
The book also addresses the neuroscience behind the addictiveness of smart phones. I haven't finished the book yet, but so far it's an interesting read. For those of you who find the topic interesting, I'd recommend it. Maybe we can apply some social pressure to getting people away from their phones to take magical walks in the fall leaves?