Pumpkin Spice Escapism
"I need comfort.
What a year! If you’re like me, your head is exploding every time you see the news in 2017. Like the majority of people, I’m finding that in this divisive and explosive year in our country, I need comfort. Serious comfort. And I’m finding it in places I never would have expected. I’m not a sports fan, for instance, yet I found great solace in the World Series this year. That was new for me. I felt totally free of the madness while watching the games. It all seemed so pure and sweet...watching the boys of summer hit home runs with no politics mentioned. We all believed in the same thing for a few hours. No fake pitches or alternate scores. We all agreed on the rules. It felt so different from my normal diet of toxic news that I was consciously aware of how pleasant it was. It was a place I could go to escape the madness of our country. Just pass the peanuts. So I put all the politics aside and enjoyed the game like everyone else. I don’t know why I haven’t done this earlier in life. I guess I’ve never needed to before.
I am feeling the need to celebrate, to embrace things in a new way. Normally, I view the coming holiday season as something I’m not prepared for. Usually, early November catapults me into a race to Thanksgiving, then on to Christmas without ever taking a breath. I cope with the holidays rather than fully enjoy them. But I think this year might be different. I’m not even annoyed by everything becoming pumpkin flavored this year. I’m celebrating it. I’m not stressed about Thanksgiving being just around the corner, but am instead looking forward to really catching up with friends this year, something I do too rarely.
I am beginning to see a silver lining to this year’s chaos and venom. It’s not that I’m tuning out the real world, although most days I wish I could. I’m not in denial about our country. To be in denial, in my opinion, is to be unpatriotic. So tuning out is not an option for me. No, it’s the slow train wreck you just can’t look away from. But outrage has turned into warrior-like resistance, which has turned into malaise, which has now turned into my need to find peace wherever I can. As we approach the end of this very long year of division, I need comfort desperately. I’m cutting back on social media and trying to find some sense of balance. Even if my brain tells me that it’s my job to help fight the madness, my blood pressure tells me I’m clearly in need of balance. So in a weird way, I have our constitutional crisis to thank for making me seek out the good stuff. The healthy stuff. I’m actively seeking out exercise and a better diet and time with friends. And I’m actively reveling in the benefits.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis people were a nervous wreck and practiced ducking and covering. But I’m finding that the threat of nuclear war in 2017 is actually helping me seek out a more profound life. I’m enjoying the simple things more because I need to, because my head is still exploding daily. So instead of ducking and covering, I’m ordering pumpkin spice pancakes and looking forward to the holidays with renewed enthusiasm. Instead of dreading that I’m not ready for Thanksgiving, I’m already cleaning the house for it. If the threat of nuclear armageddon can’t get me down, neither can 36 hours of cooking. It’s a whole new world and I’m finding comfort in new places. Who knows, maybe I’ll decide to get up before the sun this Black Friday and join the masses in trampling each other at Walmart. Okay, no. There are limits. But I’m seriously committed to taking comfort in the coming holidays in a child-like way. Here’s to pumpkin spice everything.