For some reason, the beginning of the fall semester is always a stressful time. It's hard to wake up, hard to get moving and hard to stay moving. It is not an unpleasant time, but it does sap the ol' motivator a bit.
This last weekend, I was pretty wiped as I headed home from work. As I pulled onto the highway, I noticed the smell of burning grass. With the windows down, I started looking for a fire in the fields and Mesa. It is fire season in New Mexico... It it always fire season. I didn't see anything, but the smell intensified and I found myself humming, "the Ballad of little Joe the Wrangler" as I wondered where this growing fire could be. Suddenly, as I passed the hospital, smoke started billowing from the vents in the truck, I realized that I was the fire. I careened to the side of the road, killed the engine and jumped, tucked and rolled clear of the impending explosion! Nothing happened and realizing that nothing was going to happen, I called my wife to come and get me. It turns out that there were leaves in the blower motor that caught fire. It wasn't as big a job as I originally imagined, but on Friday afternoon, it took the last bit of positivity I could muster and smushed it flatter than runny pancake batter.
Saturday began our annual "decorating for fall" day, which seems to move earlier and earlier each year. Pumpkin pie and homemade stew, amidst lots of fall garland helped improve my mood , and on Monday (labor day), I started building a door for the shop. It has been on my list for two years, but I have been afraid to start because doors seem complicated.
It turns out that doors are not that terribly difficult, hanging them took a bit of work and I am still working on creating some sort of a lock to secure my stuff, but all in all, I think it turned out pretty well. the upside is that I built the entire thing out of scraps and materials I had on hand. Today, a week later, I added the paneling (made from strips ripped from scrap 2x10s) and tomorrow I will pick up two sheets of plexiglass for the windows.
The ol'motivator was at record highs... Until 4:00 o'clock This morning, when I woke early to drive my son to the high school for a science trip. The house was hot, really warm and it seems that we are going to need to schedule a visit from the HVAC folks. Grrrr.
In the midst of all of this, I am struck by how easily my attitude rises and falls. We are (or at least I am) a temperamental being. Keeping things in perspective is a task that I always seem to struggle with. In two weeks, the worries of today will look insignificant to the worries that I have then. In two years, I will struggle to remember when the AC went out. In a decade, it may not even be my air conditioner any more.
This fall, I am going to solve to work on perspective. Major on what's major, minor in what's minor and try to remember which is which.