I never was one for New Year’s resolutions. No sooner are the words out of my mouth than the promises seem to vaporize into thin air. Committing to losing those few pounds, swearing to write 3000 words a day (speak, yes; write, not so much), promising to look before I leap (or, in some cases, to leap before I look) – all of these made-in-the-moment plans just never seem to come to pass. Blame it on the pressure (everyone’s doing it!); blame it on the Champagne (even one glass makes me silly); blame it on the fact that there’s a new month starting every 30 days or so and picking January (boring, back-to-blah January) isn’t much of an impetus.
As much as the first of day of the new year isn’t the get-up-and-go I need to make those changes, the first day of fall certainly is. (Of course, the summer-to-fall transition was clearer when I lived back East and fall really felt like a new season. Here in LA, fall weather – or the kind of fall weather we get out here – usually doesn’t really settle in until later in October. Even the end of September is often good for one last blast of summer heat.) But the first day of autumn brings with it all the promise of the starting-again season of my youth. That first-day-of-school feeling imbued with all kinds of “news” – new box of crayons, new books (yay!), new pencils (with perfectly sharpened points), new clothes, new crisp snap to the air, new feeling of possibility and of reaching new goals.
Maybe it’s that summer’s laziness feels gone, washed away by cooler mornings. Maybe it’s the appeal of a cup of hot tea with breakfast instead of summer’s staple iced version. Maybe, this year at least, it’s having gotten through a summer marked with the challenge of my covid and other health issues and the turning toward the refreshing wash of fall’s new palette, new pace, and new promise of better things ahead.
Or maybe’s it’s that box of 64 shades of crayons (still to this day) just waiting to be cracked open, its rainbow of colors at my fingertips making me smile. Not that my drawing talents are noteworthy – doodling is my specialty – but those crayons are a symbol of what fall has always meant. The fact that it’s okay to hope, to dream, and to wish.
It’s also that feeling of freshness in the air (yes, even here in LA) that wakes you up to face what the day has to offer. Like the ability to go for long walks without the heat of summer cutting them short. Or the crunch of autumn’s profusion of apples replacing summer’s sticky-sweet harvest of peaches. Or the chance to have your cheeks turn pink from nature’s chill, not makeup. All changes, and all for the good.
So yes, I’ll make my resolutions now, when they feel possible, not three months from now. I’ll resolve to write more (entirely doable), worry less (more of a challenge for someone like me, but more embraceable this new season than last), and look forward to positivity even as we get ready to turn our clocks back.
©2022 Claudia Grossman