Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Annual Disorientation

This post is a repeat of last October and then the October before that, but I can't help it.  I cycle through this emotion each year that I live in Arizona.  It's my SAD.  But every fall, I become disoriented in both time and space with the static weather.  I'm still running my air-conditioner even though The Simpson's Halloween specials are running during the 10-o'clock hour.

At no other time of the year does the shimmering heat of this city in the sun bother me.  I soldier through the stickiness of late July and August with the best of them and a smile on my face.  But just as everyone else is thinking of hot apple cider, fall leaves and pumpkin donuts, I'm thinking, "Holy shit, why is the pool closed!?"  I still operate as if it is summer, but it's actually nearly November and autumn is firmly in place.

CEWG saw fall leaves for the first time when we were in Virginia last week for Roommate Barbara's wedding.  We walked outside on a drizzly day and she saw the orange leaves floating along in the gutter.    A beautiful red maple caused her to shout, "Look, Mommy, that tree is on fire!"  Autumn is my favorite time of year.  I love the smells of wet leaves, damp earth, the chill in the air as the sun sets earlier and nights grow longer.  The smell of woodsmoke curling through the trees bringing memories of marshmallows, cold noses and frost on a windowpane.

Every year, the holidays sneak up on me.  I have elaborate plans to decorate, bake, craft and carve, but every year, as I continue to sweat my way through November, I forget because it still feels like August and suddenly, it is too late.  This year, it will be different.  I am going to try to put effort into making the season one to be jolly, to hold those I love close, to find something to celebrate in a big way, to remember to turn my face up to the blinding sun and say a prayer of thanks that despite 90-degree heat through November, at least I don't have to scrape ice off my windshield in the morning.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Inside and Out

A very dear friend has recently introduced me to the idea of inside clothes and I have embraced it wholeheartedly.

The idea of different clothes for different things isn't a completely new idea.  Growing up, we had a strict dress code that required dress clothes--longer skirts or dress pants, nice shoes, blouses...  So every day, coming home, we put on play clothes--standard jeans, t-shirts, tennis shoes.  My parents also changed when they came home.  Ties exchanged in favor of Periodic Table shirts, pantyhose shed for socks and sneakers.  But it was never clothes only meant for inside, not to be seen by others outside your family.

The idea of inside clothes is completely different than simply having dress clothes vs play clothes.  Inside clothes are lounge clothes--soft shirts, knit pants.  Not sleepwear, exactly, but not something you'd wear out in public.  Only those closest to you get to see your inside clothes.  Inside clothes are your private persona, your most intimate wear.

I've dug out some old comfortable clothes (as well as purchasing some new ones).  As soon as I get home, I put on my inside clothes to vacuum, cook, nap, paint, play or write.  If I go out to run an errand, I change--even if it's changing into casual clothes.  When I get return home, I immediately put my inside clothes back on.  I wear inside clothes several days in a row before washing them.  Who cares if they smell like last night's dinner?

I like the idea of inside and outside.  A public me and a private me, a comfortable persona that exists underneath the skirts and high heels of the office.  I do often think of clothes as a form of protection.  I dress a certain way to invoke a certain image, but every so often, it's good to remember just me.  To shed that external skin of appearance and take a deep breath to just exhale.    The inside me in my inside clothes can relax enough to know just where I am at this moment in time, even if it's in lounge pants.