still summer

The end of summer seems to be a period of relatively high anxiety for me. Mostly, I handle it fine, but I have many moments where I let all the little worries blow up into big ones, and before I know it, I'm freaking out about absolutely nothing. I don't have any big Problems with a capital "P" right now (we're all healthy and keepin' on), but it's still emotionally difficult for me to see my kids growing up and my parents getting older and the globe getting warmer and my hair getting grayer. In other words, time is passing like it always has and there is nothing I can do about it. Being all grateful and in the moment ain't all bad, but it does tend to add to the melancholy.

So now I'm going to cheer myself up with a random list of things that calm me, and stuff I can look forward to:

  1. School starts in a few weeks. Of course I have lots of feelings about my kids growing up and all, but at the same time it will be nice to have us out of each other's hair all day long.
  2. To that end I'll be going back to work with the start of the school year. My teaching job is only a few hours a week, and the freelance work can be unpredictable, but work is good for me. I'm good at it, and it keeps me out of my head.
  3. My front yard garden is bursting with wildflowers. It's a little messy and overgrown at the moment, but that's just how I like it.
    So do the birds and bees and butterflies. The flowers are literally buzzing with activity all day.
  4. Fingers crossed some of the visiting monarchs will lay eggs on the milkweed.
  5. I do love to pull weeds and stir my compost pile. The mosquitoes are so thick and aggressive right now, they take the joy out of it somewhat, but there is something about getting my hands in the dirt, even for just a few minutes, that makes me feel better about everything.
  6. This makes me wonder if I should pursue my interest in the outdoors more seriously as an option for side job, or possibly second career. This would mean going back to school (anxiety trigger), but urban planning or urban land management or urban garden programs are all areas I could see myself in. I'm all about the urban outdoors, clearly. It probably doesn't pay any better than music, but it can't be much worse, and it's just as valuable to society and the greater good. Something to contemplate at any rate.
  7. Stuart and I really want to take a big road trip out west. We're thinking of taking the kids out of school for a few weeks (to avoid peak season crowds and heat) and either renting a camper or booking cabins and campsites in Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, and who knows where else. This is probably two years away, but just the thought of planning it is pretty exciting. The U.S. is so big and beautiful, and we want Daniel and Anya to experience as much of it as we can afford to before they are all grown up.
  8. It helps to remind myself that a year ago we were just beginning to gear up for the giant remodeling project at our house. In fact, a few weeks ago I gave our contractor the final payment for his part of the project; that was a good feeling! No more giant holes in the ground and piles of mud and irate letters with insane demands from the chronically crabby and pathologically territorial next door neighbor. It's done. Over. We can just enjoy living here (and continue ignoring the neighbor.)
  9. It's hot and muggy outside and the mosquitoes are wretched, but twenty minutes of Yoga With Adrienne (I'm a fan of the 30 day challenge series) is always a good thing. After getting rained out of swim lessons this morning, I made the kids do a video with me today and it wasn't as terrible as I expected it would be.


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