Don’t get me wrong, I love a good seasonal beverage as much as the next person, and I too have already taken multiple pictures of my feet atop dead foliage, but October just isn’t my favorite month. I feel like I should love it, should feel happy to live in a world where there are Octobers, because I love Anne Shirley and trust her opinion. But then I remember that Anne Shirley lived 1,059 miles north of me, far further north than all us Americans quoting her. Her October probably was grand, and so shall ours be… in November, when the weather settles into a predictable chill and the leaves finish what they have really only just started. Yes, today the leaves are looking amazing and it is chilly, but earlier this week it was in the 70’s and I sweat through my shirt. People, November is where it’s at.
But it’s more than just that. There are lots of months that are disappointing (I’m looking at you, March of the Eternal Polar Vortex 2014), but October just always seems hard. Last year was the government shutdown that for most people stood as the butt of jokes or fodder for discussion. For us it meant a month where James missed dinner more nights than not, working too late and sleeping too little. It’s always the point in my semester where summer is too long forgotten and Christmas break is too far off to offer hope. Last October was a tense, tired, frustrating one for us.
And this October… this October hasn’t been much different. It isn’t that there haven’t been good things to happen this October- obviously there have been. There is always good mixed in with the hard. But there have been a lot of tears mixed in too, a lot of loneliness, a lot of exhaustion and frustration and hoping and anxiety. There have been so many days where everything has gone well, the day has been good, and then I just cry for awhile at the end and don’t even always know why. Very few of my posts this month have been about personal and present things because to be honest, some of those personal present things aren’t fun, aren’t entertaining, and have no pretty pictures.I stopped sleeping well early in the month, something I always do when I’m anxious and struggling to manage it all. In the end, I know that there is only one solution:
November. Because sometimes the solution has less to do with fixing things and more to do with just hanging on until they change.
Tomorrow, November comes and chases out October. And for us, that means the month that James will come home, even if we still don’t know the day. It means that this life that has felt like it is both ricocheting forward and strangely standing still can resume its path. It means the end to this time that has been so good and taught me so much, but also been hard. It means concrete answers for where some things in our life are going, answers that have kept me awake at night all month. I hate that I’m saying this, hate wasting any stage of life because I firmly believe in not wasting any season. And I haven’t. I’ve used these months as time to invest in work, invest in friends, host regular girls nights and travel. I’ve learned a lot, grown a lot, and met God in new ways. They haven’t been wasted but they have still been hard.
So see ya, October. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. *These quotes are ones I have been carrying deep in my heart from my daily readings from Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest, which is seriously the best daily reading ever. I have been reading it every year for four years or so and it still hits me fresh every time. The readings for October have been spot-on what I needed to hear.