It’s that time of the year. Yeah, the one that comes right before the most wonderful time of the year, you heard me.
It’s a genuinely strange time, and people are in a peculiar mood.
Most of them are just sad that the summer is over. I, for one, am not going to miss the scorching, brain-melting heat that we’ve experienced this season. I’ve never been a summer person but I’ve always tolerated it well as a child, because at the time summer meant playing with my friends all day long and going to the beach loads during the seemingly endless three-month break from school.
It’s not as fun when you have to get into a crowded train with no air conditioning on your way to work and expel all the liquids in your body in the form of sweat and tears with your hair clumped on your scalp and the smell of a thousand strangers lingering on you for the rest of the day. No thanks.
Some people, on the other hand, have a delightfully hypocritical/optimistic approach towards it. They see the fall as an occasion to renew the New Year resolutions that didn’t make it to the first Monday of January. They get a new gym membership, new desk planners, shiny Tupperware.
They promise to improve their diets, respect their skin care routine and to get 8 hours sleep per night. Chances are that by Halloween their Zen approach towards life will have assuaged and that they will be as fat and sad as ever. But they’ve got a Merry Christmas to look forward to and a Happy New Year to renew the cycle of misery.
I could certainly relate to some of this. But I must confess that I belong to a third (smaller but louder) category. I’m talking about the tartan-loving, pumpkin-eating, Gilmore Girls-watching folks who love just about everything about this season. The colours, the smells, the flavours. That newfound feeling of cosiness and the guiltless indulging in all the wholesome thrills that the fall brings with it.
Most people want big things. I get high on the simple stuff: warm lights, hot drinks, mellow pop music and fun podcasts, charming books, heart-warming films and some gossipy (and borderline slanderous) pillow talk with the people I love. I would trade an autumn afternoon filled with these things for a week in Ibiza any day.
Of course, as I’m writing this, I’m sitting at work, in an empty newsroom on a grey, wet Sunday morning. Sure, not great, but I am sure that there’s room for enjoyment even in days like this if you only look hard enough.
Most of this stuff may sounds corny to you and you may be wondering what happened to the bitter, loud and sarcastic Valerio you all know and despise. No, I have not gone soft.
Let’s just say it’s become easier for me to appreciate some of the things I was not able to enjoy since some grey clouds have lifted and I finally stopped sweating the small stuff. You may not be able to see it but, most of the time, life really is good. And when you finally let yourself believe that, you will see it everywhere.
Here's a picture of a pug rolling in autumn leaves. You're welcome.