Fall isn’t quite the same without a drive up to the Hudson Valley – and specifically the town of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. At Washington Irving’s cottage we watched a shadow puppet rendition of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and took a walk around the grounds with a fantastically animated storyteller who retold Irving’s “The Devil and Tom Walker.” Basically, your perfect mid-October day in the way that only the Northeast can do. Why is Halloween SO fun? Fall is the best time of year, especially around here because the NE basically owns Fall as far as seasons go. The abundance of activities, harvest festivals, holiday paraphernalia and the anticipation of the actual holiday itself rivals Christmas at this point.
It was a much needed break and a really great Saturday. But then the next day the girls and I had one of the worst days. I don’t want to indulge in a pissing contest about how hard things are because everyone has their own issues to deal with, but it’s been rough around here I’ll tell you that. It’s pretty naive to think that if you take on too much, nothing will suffer, but something usually always does. In this case it was family because I placed work first. Sometimes it’s a choice that you feel you have to make, however, because there is something to prove, lost time to make up for or money that needs to be earned so you feel like you’re making the right choice. I felt like I had won at life when I successfully juggled clients and had a great design review at a presentation last week after being concerned that I had taken on too much, but I pretty much lost it Sunday in a swirl of stress and pressure and sleep deprivation. In the end, I didn’t win at anything.
I remember the first time I saw my mother cry. It was sort of terrifying and for a kid, the world became a little more confusing. I suppose it’s for that reason I try to hold it together – and I’m not saying that I am stronger than my mother; our circumstances in certain ways couldn’t be more different, but I do remember at that young age how heavy life suddenly felt. Some days prove to be too overwhelming though and it takes very little for things to crumble. So your children see a side to you that you never want to show, but it happens sometimes. I don’t think it’s bad, but I don’t think it should happen often.
Today felt like the first day in a long time where things felt less hectic. There was still a lot to do, but the pace wasn’t urgent and deadlines weren’t stifling. I helped C with her math homework after the girls came home from school and then ate dinner with the family rather than at the computer as I have done many days before. Afterwards we lounged on the bed and we talked. This is the kind of day that you chase after, the balance that is often elusive. The girls and I put Sunday behind us (them a little quicker than I). You move on and accept that there are good days and bad days and hope that the next day will be a good one.