The mist drifting in this morning, this moisture darkening the deck wood and dampening the chair fabrics, isn’t rain. It’s dense fog. We’ve had weeks – months! – of sunshine. It can’t rain now. Our church corn roast is tomorrow.
I’m never ready for autumn… never ready to give up summer’s easy living and lack of schedules, but it comes anyway, officially arriving here tomorrow. The seasons are relentless in their march through the calendar year. I enjoy them all, but am always reluctant to face the changeover. I never quite feel prepared.
On our end-of-vacation drive home last week, I saw fields of grain harvested and bundled for winter storage, seed pods developing, leaves changing colour. The world around me knows it’s time to get into gear for autumn.
When there’s something to look forward to, it’s easier to let go and move on. The Surrey International Writers’ Conference is exactly one month away. Eeeeep!! I’ve been registered since five minutes after registration opened in June, booked my hotel room the same day, and sent off entries for the writing contest before the deadline (altho’ not by much, I admit). I should feel organized, but now time is pressuring me to polish my current novel, create a one-sheet for its presentation and perfect a pitch. (Not to mention figure out something to wear for the gala’s ‘Roaring Twenties’ theme.) Is it an OCD thing to need to complete every single task in order to feel adequately prepared for the Conference?
When I taught elementary school I discovered that if my lesson plans were well prepared and I felt ready before the morning bell sounded, my day went smoothly. I was calm, the children were calm (most of the time), and I usually accomplished the day’s goals. If I started the morning unprepared and frazzled, it affected my entire day.
It carries over into my writing, too. When my office is cluttered and disorganized (as it often is), or life is crazy, I can’t get my head into a creative groove. Thoughts slither around and slide away like drops of mercury on a wobbly desk. (I guess that dates me, doesn’t it? Who allows children to play with mercury during science labs anymore?)
So, I guess if I’m going to really enjoy that Conference and get the most out of it, I’d better accept that fall is underway and there’s work to be done around here!
Do you function best under pressure, or do you need to have all the pieces in place before you can accomplish anything?
(Oh, and happy first weekend of autumn!)
Update: I’m happy to report that it did not rain for our corn roast! (Yes, I’m smiling.)
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