Ah, Labor Day weekend - the unofficial last weekend of fall. How do you feel about that? Do you say "welcome fall" and embrace the change of seasons, or are you a bit blue that summer's waning?
I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it's been a brutally hot summer. It was nice to have Isaac bring in some more moderate temperatures last week, but it has been warm again yesterday and today. Not that I mind the hot. I'd rather sweat than shovel snow anytime. But it is nice to have temperatures a bit more moderate. Human beings can live in 80 degree weather. But 110? Not so easy.
It's also kind of nice being able to go out to lunch again without every place being so crowded. With so many people "out and about" between school being out and traveling, I had to cut back on going out to lunch because I couldn't get in and out of places in an hour during my lunch break. Running errands was tricky too. It's nice to have our population sufficiently spread out so that it's possible for me to eat out or pick up a few things at the store during my lunch break without having to stress over getting back to the office by 2. And I'm talking about places right around the corner from my office!
But on the other hand, I am sad that summer's ending. Spring and summer are my favorite seasons. I like the warm weather, and the long days. It's already getting dark noticably earlier than it was a few months ago. The bluebirds have moved out of the birdhouse and won't be back. The rose blooms are smaller. And the cicadas don't chirp nearly as much as they did. There is something a bit melancholy about things winding down.
Not that there's anything wrong with fall. People are back on a routine, so there's less stress with "covering" for vacations - and when you do go out, it's less crowded. There's also college football and fall festivals and TV shows starting their new seasons soon. I have to admit that the reruns are getting old.
I changed some of the house decorations from summer to fall yesterday and it was a mixed bag for me. It was sad to put the roses away, but the fall bouquet is an inspring spalsh of color in that entry way - the yellows and oranges just look great and are a nice change of pace. And switching from roses to apple cinnamon isn't so bad either. It's nice to have something different. There are, after all, merits in every season.
That's all today. Have a great Labor Day weekend. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy an extra day off.
It's T-minus 10 days until Christmas and counting. Are you ready?
I'm not either. Yes, I feel your pain.
As we enter peak holiday prep time, I'd like to offer some tips on making life easier during these hectic days. These are good tips all the time, and hopefully you can implement them now to find some relief from holiday stress.
1. Follow the instructions. Even if you think they're stupid. Even if you think you know a better way. Even if you think you're better than that. They're there for a reason, and following them will save everybody time and frustration - especially you.
2. Use the calendar function on your devices. Even the most basic cell phone has a calendar feature, so there's no excuse for missing appointments, functions or deadlines if your schedule is on a device that you have with you all the time.
3. Set priorities and organize your life by them. It's literally impossible to do everything, so you have to decide what's the most important. Take stock of your life and to-do list and organize your schedule in these remaining days according to what matters the most.
4. Be sure you get enough sleep. It's easy to skimp on sleep when your schedule is full and a few more minutes - or hours - would help, and that's dangerous. Getting enough sleep is the secret to staying healthy, energetic, and alert so you can accomplish more in the other 16 hours of the day.
5. Take a timeout this weekend. I don't care how long your "to do" list is - you need time for yourself before family descends on you for the blessed season of celebration. Don't go into the next two weeks tired, stressed out, and frazzled. Take at least a few hours to do something for yourself: Read a book, watch a movie, go out to a good dinner, or just sleep in Saturday morning. Trust me, it will give you the energy you need to cross the finish line.
And in closing, I urge you to remember the reason for the season. Christmas isn't about decorations, parties, and presents. It's about Christ and the give of our salvation. Sometimes the celebration overshadows the reason we're doing everything we're doing all of this. I'll have more on this as we get closer to Christmas.
Ok folks, there's not much time yet but we'll make it by the grace of God, like we do every year. Take care, and I hope these tips will help you preserve your sanity now, when you need it the most.