Some Things Never Change

The laugh's on me:
this year's man
is last year's man."
—Ching An

Today was the first real day of autumn, in my opinion. Yesterday was blustery—windy, damp and grey—but that happens year-round in the Midwest. Today, however, dawned almost crisp—chilly enough to watch your breath curl in the sunlight, and dry enough by midmorning that a walk across campus sent the first yellow leaves skittering from underfoot as I went.

Those who know me know I love this time of year best ... so why did I greet autumn with a touch of melancholy?

This summer marked the busiest on record for the Thorp clan. We traveled east and west to see family and friends, we played baseball and soccer, we volunteered, we practiced and performed tai chi, we celebrated and mourned with friends, we closed and liquidated a day care, we freelanced, and we did our jobs. We worked and we played. And occasionally, we slept.

What I didn't do was write—or at least, not the things I hoped to. I wrote speeches and papers, and I'm mostly done with an article for the Journal of Asian Martial Arts. But my book stagnates, my fiction blog is just a shell, and this ... well, you can look to the margin to see how much I blogged.

The truth is, with so many priorities, we scrambled through the summer just getting the day's "musts" taken care of. When everything is a priority, nothing is.

I'm overextended, but what else is new? I always overcommit, always underestimate the time involved, and never, ever accomplish everything I'd like to. I know this about myself and can't seem to compensate. This year's man is last year's man. Some things never change.

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