In which apples are golden, and songs are sweet, but summer has passed away

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Autumn is on its way.  The leaves are starting to turn and there is a crisp tang to the air, despite the sunshine.  This is my favourite time of year, although there is always a tinge of melancholy as we bid goodbye to the majority of the year and start the countdown to winter.

It’s also the start of the new school year.  Even though it’s been four years since I was in formal education, there’s something about this that is still significant.  It was an important marker in my life for 18 years, and both of my current jobs are affected by it, but it’s more than that.  The new academic year is a time of rebirth; it marks the end of summer, and the chance to start afresh.  Even though I no longer have the visual markers of this – brand new stiff leather black shoes, or a shiny pencil tin filled with clean white erasers and pristine sharp-tipped crayons – I still feel the change in the air.

It’s also for me, like New Year, a time for reflection on what has gone on in the past few months.  I feel as if I need to take stock of my life and assess what I’ve been doing.

The summer went so fast, and to be honest it felt like it was spent mostly filling out other people’s plans.  Not that I don’t love weddings and hen nights and barbecues, but it did seem as though S and I couldn’t be spontaneous and do things we wanted to do due to having our weekends booked up with events months in advance.  I feel that he and I are in need of some serious time together to ourselves, to hang out and just be with each other.  The best part of our relationship is that we really are best friends.  We can sit in a café for hours, both of us engrossed in our books and neither of us saying anything, but with a comfortable silence cushioning us.  We can have fun wherever we are – on the couch, in the pub, in the park.   We can say whatever’s in our minds and know that the other person won’t mind.  We can crack really stupid jokes and put on dodgy accents and know the other will laugh anyway.

We need to do more of this.

At the start of 2009, I set myself some goals.  As the year enters its final phase, it seems like a good time to assess these and consider how I’m doing.   Of course, it’s only me judging me – although aren’t we all our own harshest critic? – so it’s not a pass/fail scenario, but more the chance to  stop, think and consider.  Some, such as ”cook a new dish every month” or “finish the house in a timely fashion” are easy to assess with a simple yes/no.  Others such as “stop sweating the small stuff” and “feel less guilty over things I have no control over” cannot be judged in the same tickbox manner.  I do feel as if I am making progress, but they’re subjective things that only I can be the judge of.

(I think, however, I will give myself B+ for effort on all of these.)

To conclude:

Autumn makes me start thinking about love, goals, dreams, aspirations and life in general.

I’m actually feeling pretty good about everything though.

S and I need to hang out more in coffee shops.

I need to see some more “classic” films before the end of the year if I am to fulfil all my 2009 resolutions.

It’s getting colder so I can start wearing hats and scarves again soon, which pleases me very much.

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