The waning days of fall

November 11, 2016

thanks to Carmen Creative Studios

October is a beautiful month, probably my most favorite month, just as fall is my favorite season. It’s still fall, but since I was raised in the Northeastern U.S., for me, November still has the ring of early winter.  Spending most of this autumn season in Santa Fe has been a delight.

I’m thinking about what fall represents: maturity, for one. Change, and sometimes preparing for an ending. It brings to mind the fact that we are in the autumn of our lives, something that seems to have happened all of a sudden. We were adults, and then, POOF! We’re seniors.

There IS a certain maturity evident at this age; a way of looking at the world that’s quite different from how we viewed it when we were younger. Some might say we’re jaded, but I don’t think it’s that. Once we hit the senior years all our life experience has mounted up and when we stand atop it, well, the view is quite different than it was when we were young. Not for everyone. But I see it in myself.

Oh, it’s true the memory flags far too often, and stamina’s not what it used to be. But my conclusions about the world around me feel more solid, more true, more evidence-based.

fall-surpriseAge and wisdom can go hand in hand, but they don’t always.  I still get overly unglued at crazies and injustice I see. I’m not sure that will ever stop because passion is part of my DNA. But I can see I’m wiser than I was.  I can hear you saying “I should hope so!” but really, it’s not a given, not automatic.

An unexpected change  in my opinion of the now grey-haired President has also happened in this autumn of his term. Back in 2008 I wasn’t a fan. I thought he was unprepared, that it was Hillary’s time and that she should’ve gotten it. And while I don’t think he’s been a GREAT president, President Obama has grown into  the role. Not every policy went smoothly and the country isn’t in perfect shape, but on most matters that he could directly influence–like foreign policy– he hasn’t left the country in worse shape than he found it. No, not perfect, but when has life ever been perfect for everyone? Of course if you’re in the group that’s experiencing tough times, you’re going to look at it differently.

But big picture, things aren’t falling completely apart yet, despite significant challenges home and abroad. And for that, I’m grateful. So the big surprise here is that I’ll be sorry to see him go because I like the guy and am even more impressed with his wife. They are two of the most un-self-conscious inhabitants of the White House we’ve seen, and it’s refreshing. People forget that those who hold office are first and foremost human beings, and I like these two human beings. A lot. I won’t even talk about my nervousness about the future.

Can’t change things. This election has been tough for me, one of those things that can make me come unglued. I had to decide that I can’t do anything about the outcome so why let it get to me as badly as it has. I guess I’m just disappointed in so many people. When I look around, some of the people I see scare me. But the fact is I can’t do anything about it and I’ve been working hard to let my senior maturity moderate my passion. Except for renewing my activism. Yes, I know. At odds with prior statements. But I can’t see the hate taking hold. I have to do something and I’m doing it through Pantsuit Nation, starting with a vigil tomorrow night at our city hall. At every city hall in the nation.

It’s been a difficult fall, a hard season for a lot of us. You might say we’ve all been through a fall surprise, with  more to come. The road ahead will be difficult.  The nation is polarized, crazies have been given license to exercise their craziness, our media are out of control in the worst of ways and appeals to Americans’ basest instincts have been effective in many quarters. There’s no way to put that stuff back in its box, either. Some rough times are coming.

When we make our way back to Santa Fe next fall, I hope the nation will be in better shape.



21 comments on “The waning days of fall
  1. Beth B says:

    Thank you, Carol. Your calming voice is just what I needed to hear after this most difficult week. The anger and outrage I feel at the moment will subside I know … maybe not right away but time provides a buffer. This has been an especially tough fall after losing my dog in August to failing health and now this devastating election. I am grieving and hurt. My focus now is to find a place of peace … which I know will I find. Thanks for reinforcing that hope!

  2. Even though I’m thousands of miles away, the same thoughts have been running through my head – it was such a surprise to see how this election has turned out. I just really hope things don’t continue to go to hell in a handbasket. And I hope you’re smiling in Santa Fe next Autumn and we’re smiling Down Under (it’ll be Spring here!)

  3. The election has an impact on us all. I am hoping the changes won’t be as drastic. An immigrant who had the chance to vote for the 2nd time here in the USA. First time was for Obama 2nd term now this election….Don’t know how I feel about the wall yet only time will tell.

  4. Barbara says:

    I’m with you. I, too am exhausted and need to step away and take a breath. I may need quite a few breaths as my chest tightens. We’ll get through somehow. I love this country and have faith in the good people of it.

  5. a little breath of relief would be welcome for so many of us. It will recharge us to stay the course!

  6. This election has been devastating. We will all have to continue being activists and taking care of our fellow citizens. One thing I will not be doing this time around, though, is burning my bra 🙂

  7. Amber Myers says:

    I also hope the nation will be in better shape too. Right now it’s pretty scary :/

  8. Kelly Reci says:

    I’ve seen many post about election and what I can say is this is the most stressful election.

  9. This is such a good outlet especially with everyone freaking out online. Thank you for the reminder of what season we really are in.

  10. Sonya says:

    I love autumn too, the change of colours, the snuggles under covers with movie nights with the kids.

  11. Shirley says:

    It is good post well written. Thanks for sharing.

  12. It’s been a particularly dark campaign season, which ended up in a heartbreaking result. Along with the end of Fall, this FEELS like the end of hope, optimism, inclusion, and progress. It’s okay to allow ourselves to rant, rage, and mourn. But, as the seasons remind us, hope WILL resume, and as this country has recovered from dark times of the past, we will rise again!

  13. Rena says:

    I am all for what you are doing. I’m sick to my stomach at the outcome. I look around and see the evil that has taken hold. Living in the South is it everywhere and I’ll never be able to look at my neighbors and other professionals again. I’ve lost my respect for people. My Dr. voted for Trump! How can I trust him with my health? If he’s looking at me like a second-class citizen.

  14. Crystal Gard says:

    I feel bad for what has happened and hope that everything works out in the end.

  15. Jennifer L says:

    There is something about autumn that really makes me notice change even more so then other seasons. Maybe like you’ve said, it’s the changing of the leaves and the new season coming.

  16. jill conyers says:

    I love love fall. It’s so interesting how perspectives of a single subject can be so different.

  17. MilicA says:

    I hope it’s all gonna be good at the end..they say “if it’s not good than it is not the end”. 🙂

  18. Nicky says:

    The last week has taken a toll on the country as a whole. I took a break from blogging because I just couldn’t gather the words while my mind and heart were not in it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

  19. Lisa Rios says:

    Like you and many others, I think this election has made a huge impact in most of our lives. Though the result is what we did not expect I hope everything gets better as we move on as my faith is still high on my country!

  20. Elizabeth O. says:

    A huge change is about to happen. What I fear is what the future holds, but we all think about that and we also can change the way we think. Like you, I hope things are going to even better as the next year approaches.

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