Hello darkness, my old friend

We had the first frost of the fall last night. My husband insisted it would happen though my weather app denied it, so I tossed a fleece blanket over my flower pots on the back deck in a show of pessimism or optimism, I’m not sure which. And sure enough, I woke up to a frosting of frost on the roof of the garage (which is just on the other side of my deck).

So, welcome to fall in Minnesota. The weather had already changed—it’s an abrupt seasonal shift here–and it’s been breezy and cooler and quite a delight, actually. The leaves are beginning to change and drop. The days are shorter already.

Not today.

I’ve been spending my time working a lot—it’s Christmas in the retail world already, so we’re already putting in 40+ hours a week. The last six weeks of the year I’ll be working six days a week. (Today is my day off and I woke up thinking about how sad I am that I have to go back to work tomorrow. Then I’ll only have one day off in a stretch of nine days.)

When I have a moment to think, I think about my kids and try to untangle their various problems in my mind. It’s such a helpful exercise to worry about adult children who are experiencing life. I want them to be carefree and have happy, easy lives, but then I remember that life is difficult. And I can’t do anything about it.

That doesn’t mean I can stop fretting, even when I order myself to stop fretting. Instead I turn inward and blame myself and try to follow the tangles back to when the kids were little and I was shaping their little hearts and minds and obviously screwing up, even though I meant to be perfect.

I meant to do everything exactly right so that everything would turn out perfect!

It’s my fault! Everything that goes wrong is clearly my fault. This is what they call Logic, kids.

So my angst drove me to my computer where I could tap out these words and hopefully leave with a lighter heart. It’s so easy to dwell on the darkness, to invite in the gloom. I can feel it creeping into my insides.

I know a few things. I know I did my best. I know that pain is on the path we all travel. I know that everything will be okay in the end. And if it’s not okay, it’s not the end. (I just looked up that quote and John Lennon said it which reminds me of the time I looked up an author who’d written a book titled, “How Not to Look Old” only to find out that she died when she was 58. Who cares if you look young if you’re dead?)

Well, anyway, there you go. Afternoon musings from someone who is not dead and who needs to embrace the moment and also, kill the mouse that has taken up residence in the garage.

3 thoughts on “Hello darkness, my old friend

  1. Hi Mel, I’m always happy to see a post from you pop up on my feed. You always give me a chuckle. I can so relate to this post. My kids are a little older than yours, and I still worry, but I’ve learned to reign it in through the years. So true what you said about trying to do everything right so their lives would be perfect. If only that had any possibility of working. I’m reminded of how God was the perfect parent, and look how his kids turned out. Good luck with the mouse. I have one, too, still on the loose.


  2. Just missed the frost here in West Michigan. I wanted an early and cool fall, but this is ridiculous. Glad to hear you are busy. I went from very busy to a screeching non-busy halt three years ago (not covid related). Not being busy has freed up my mind to think over everything. I’ve gotten a lot wrong over the years…


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