The end of autumn brings me to a state of feeling introspective. Depression, melancholy maybe, or just a need to be alone with my thoughts for a little while … It’s not “sadness”, and it’s not a negative thing. It’s normal for me at this time of year.
The Liminal Space
It’s not technically the end of autumn until the first day of winter. But just as it feels like summer before the solstice, it feels to me like winter arrives before Dec. 21. When the leaves are mostly on the ground and the temperatures near freezing, to me, it’s winter.
The time between seasons – it doesn’t feel like fall anymore and it’s not yet winter – is a liminal space. It’s precisely this kind of space that makes my mood like it is.
Let go of what kinds of things?
Clutter makes me feel anxious for no good reason. When I feel anxious, vague fear is usually the underlying emotion. We all have fears that we deal with on a daily basis. Some of us are just better at ignoring them or hiding it.
One of mine is the fear is that I’ll never succeed in reaching my goals. I can further refine that to pinpoint exactly what it is I’m afraid of.
It’s not the fear of never reaching them. It’s the fear that it’ll take too long. The anxiety is just a companion to that fear.
Disorganization in my workspace contributes by magnifying the disorganized feeling of anxiety. When my surroundings get cluttered and my project list piles up I feel the crunch of time. I feel like I’m running out of it and it’s that urgency drives the underlying fear of possibly never finishing.
The problem is my workspace. My desk and office is so cluttered I can hardly find anything anymore. I am going to do a bit of fall organization in there this evening.
It’s more of a job than I can finish in one evening, though, so that project will extend for quite a while. Maybe even a whole week or even longer. Ha. I am not exaggerating. It’s pretty bad.
I know from experience the vague feeling of anxiety and fear will dissipate as the clutter is eliminated. So each thing I find a dedicated place for, or put in the recycle or the burn pile or the garbage will be like one more leaf falling from the tree.
Worrying without doing anything constructive accomplishes nothing. Just like the trees letting go of old leaves at the end of autumn, I too feel the need to let go of stuff I’m clinging to which no longer serve a purpose … starting with my office clutter.
What leaves do you need to drop?
For me this year, it’s the clutter in my office. In years past I’ve had more extreme cleansing to do. The principle of letting go of that which no longer serves is worth looking at. For me, the end of autumn is a great time of year to do it because it matches my mood already.