I like to grow pumpkins. I used to grow them every year, but over the past few years, it’s been hard to find the time. Why pumpkins? My daughters ask me that too – and I don’t really know. They’re kind of fun to watch grow, I guess, and the big leaves are neat and they usually grow well beyond their intended area and take over the lawn. Plus they’re orange, and the vines are green – two of my favorite colors. What can I say? I just like ’em.
But mostly, I think, it’s because I love Autumn, and I love Halloween – always have.
Why’s that? I think maybe it’s because when I was in school, it wasn’t Springtime that held promise for me – it was Fall. I loved learning, and was always excited by what was next. The end of Summer was the beginning of something new and unknown. Yeah, I was that kid.
Somehow, when you get buried by the responsibilities of adulthood, I think you kind of forget about that. It just gets swallowed up if you’re not careful.
But I also think that the thing that keeps us young is learning new things, and taking new chances. Always. It’s easy to stagnate, and though it might seem safer, it really isn’t. The world works on change – look around. It’s true. At this very moment, in the quietest room, nothing is really static; in the most peaceful silence we’re still hurtling through space at thousands of miles per hour. And if we suddenly stop, we’re screwed. Change, and activity, are our natural states.
Change always seems uncomfortable, but when you actually do the thing you’re dragging your heels about, it’s always good.
Do I like change? I don’t like the idea of it, no. But once I actually do it, it’s always good. Sort of like that saying that in twenty years you’ll regret the things you didn’t do far more than the things you did. Plus in my case, I need it – it fuels my creative; ideas come from experiences, good or bad, and that’s exactly what change brings – new, sometimes scary but always stimulating experiences.
I’ve been taking more risks lately, and trying new things at the drop of a hat – not over-thinking, just doing.
Taking my own advice.
And it’s been working pretty well.
So I decided I wanted pumpkins. And though over the past few years the problem had been where to put them in the yard, when to find the time and seeing it as a sacrifice of good lawn, this year was, again, different.
Without too much thought, I simply decided. And got to work.
I went to Home Depot, got some 2X6’s, some connectors and stakes. Picked out an area, and spent about eight hours setting it up, clearing out, turning over the soil, adding compost and mulch and getting it done. No wavering, just doing.
Planted Ghosts, Hubbards, Big Max and Connecticut Field Pumpkins.
Got some blisters, and I was sore the next day. Felt good.
So why do I like pumpkins? Maybe because summer goes by too fast. In fact, I just put together my first ‘Summer Clearance’ ad of the season for a client.
But with pumpkins planted, somehow that’s okay. I’m okay with time passing, because I’ve set something up to look forward to.
Fall’s gonna be good. I’ll be doing some other new things I’ve set up as well. And I think that’s the key.
This way, it’s not a countdown to the end of Summer, but instead a countdown to the beginning of Fall. That’s much better.
We are a culture fixated by calendars and schedules and must-do’s, and are always too aware of the point we at all times occupy with respect to the expected duration of our lives. But as beings aware of our own mortality, how do we escape that constant consciousness? It’s actually fairly simple: don’t fight it.
Don’t dread the passing of time. Accept change. Even encourage change. Embrace it. Actively pursue it. The future’s coming, whether you like it or not, so set things up now to look forward to.
And be decisive, be quick quick about making decisions. And act on them. Then, good or bad, keep making more.
Just my advice. Seems to make me happy.
And, probably, you too.