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I’m having one of those seasons already – one minute, it’s Labor Day, and the next, it’s almost October, and it’s not entirely clear what’s happened in the meantime. I know I had a couple of trips, and gave a bunch of talks, and sat in a ton of meetings, but beyond that, I’m not sure how a month’s worth of stuff could have happened. And it certainly doesn’t feel as though a month’s worth of stuff has gotten done.

I wouldn’t find this half so alarming, except that the rest of the fall is also ridiculously over-scheduled, and so I know it’s going to go much the same way: tomorrow I’ll wake up and it’ll be December, and everything that I have to produce between now and then will suddenly be due, if not vastly overdue. And I have one extremely pressing utterly unmissable deadline in the mix, and miles to go before I’m anywhere close to meeting it.

Work aside, fall is my favorite season; I love the gradual crispening of the air, the progressive layering of sweaters and jackets and scarves, the changing of the leaves and the smells of nutmeg and wood smoke. I don’t want to miss the transition, to wake up and find it winter.

All of this is a plea to myself, to slow down, take on each day as it occurs, and stop looking down the road (or the calendar) to what’s coming. Anticipation is one thing, but life in an endless state of countdown — three days until this; two weeks until that — chops up the time so that it can’t really be experienced. As one of my yoga instructors would say, I need to return to the intention I set some months back: to be here now.

Deep breath. Now. Pick up the next thing.

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