Today I find myself mourning a bit. No, I’m not going to blog about the passing of Steven Jobs, though I could. This feeling envelops me in October each year when the days get shorter, the Cubs season is over (thankfully), the Bears are losing and the Batavia Farmers’ Market comes to an end. Making it worse is I miss the Bulldogs Unleashed downtown and the thought that next month the Batavia Popcorn Depot closes for the season and Moo La La shutters for the winter.
Steve and I will miss the last official Market next Saturday so I had to bid my favorite vendors ‘adieu’ this morning and I think this triggered my melancholy feeling. Or possibly the anticipation of one of the last lawn mows today (I actually like mowing the lawn). Or maybe a look at my struggling landscape still trying to throw off its’ last bit of color before a long winter’s nap. Or perhaps the fact that the squirrels are depositing their food remnants on my favorite outdoor chair (OK, that just made me mad). Whatever the trigger, I’m coming to the realization that summer is over. Soon I’ll be stacking up the porch chairs, covering the grill and closing up the yard for 2011.
It was about this time last year I experienced a critical, life changing ‘aha moment.’ As I was putting away the porch furniture, I thought ahead to spring when I’d be putting out the furniture and realizing it would be about the same time spring graduations are. A wild thought bubbled up…I could graduate with my master’s degree next May if I just quit my job and went full time as a graduate school student. I had been taking one class at a time for nearly four years and the rigor of a very full time job and graduate school was wearing me down. Luckily for me, when I broached the idea with Steve, he didn’t say no, but rather, “I’ll get back to you in a couple of days.” Paying for Kyle and Owen’s college years, and mine, does take a hard blow to the family’s cash flow, but a couple days later Steve came back to me with, “We can swing it if you want to.” I don’t know if he really thought I would do it, but inside I knew I was ready for change. My mind began racing with possibilities. I checked the NIU MPA class schedule for spring ’11 and all the classes I wanted to take (and needed to graduate) were open. This was a sign – OK, I took it as a sign. And the rest is history as I resigned from my position of Executive Director of Batavia MainStreet right before Thanksgiving effective at the end of the year.
Today sitting on the porch in October, I also remember what I started going through one year ago this month- my visit to Dr. Taft when my nipple bled for the second time in three months, needle imaging in November followed by a lumpectomy/biopsy in December and my DCIS diagnosis on December 30, 2011.
So now that I think back to this time last year and unknown path that lay ahead of me, I am no longer mourning today. Instead, I’m thankful that 2011 is nearly behind me. I’m just going to sit on the front porch and enjoy this glorious fall day, bask in the glow of a Bulldogs football 7-0 season and get a big bowl of Concord grapes (from Paw Paw Farms/Batavia Farmers’ Market) and a hearty slice of Glorious Morning Bread (also the Market) and soak in today’s grand celebration of life. And I won’t be sharing any with the squirrels.