losing track of the months

On a regular basis, I have to date things and initial them–the top of a proofread file, a renamed Word doc, a job ticket. Each and every time, no matter how many things I date and initial all in a row, I start out writing “8” and have to backspace, or white it out, or scribble over it. I am not sure why I am so convinced that it is still August, or why I am clinging to that 8 when the 8th month is so firmly and irrevocably over and done with.

I hesitate to say that it is deeply psychological; maybe I just like to make a little looping 8 more than I like to make a 10. Maybe it is because it is easier and quicker to write or type just the one number instead of two whole numbers. Maybe 8 is just a better number than 10, and I am taking a stand! It is important to stand up for what you believe in! Once you figure out that that’s what you believe in.

But it’s also true that it’s finally starting to be fall. After the
cold snap there were a few days of gorgeous weather, almost warm, and
now it has begun to gradually cool off, as is right and proper for this
time of year, and the leaves have started to change, in patches and
swaths of gold and red. The mountains are turning orange and russet and
gold and beginning to skitter across the street in the wind and things
smell like burning just the way they’re supposed to at this time of
year hooray, finally and thank goodness, except that means that winter
really is on its way for real and also that I can not ever be happy
just in moment, right where I am. I am always jumpy, anxious about the
future and concerned about how it is going to happen. I’m also always
icy cold and the idea of snow right now makes me worried.

It also makes me worried that the year is almost over, so close to
being done. This time of year, it’s like the calendar has been tilted
up and shaken down so that everything comes tumbling to the end,
jumbled and confused and hard to sort out and crowded. There is never
any time left, once the last months roll in, to finish everything we
planned to finish, take care of everything we swore we would take care
of, to get everything wrapped up as neatly and cleanly as we had hoped

Suddenly everything starts to rush forward and in some ways it is
wonderfully exhilarating and a great deal of the part of why the
holiday season can be such a pleasure. The rest of the deal, however,
is that I don’t want it to be Halloween and then Thanksgiving and then
the evenhanded non-denominational holiday festivities and then new
year’s eve, knowing that the whole year is gone and I can’t take
anything back, because it is over and done with, the way August is, and
September, and soon enough, October, too. By which time I’ll have
finally figured out how to date things properly.

3 Replies to “losing track of the months”

  1. I think it’s because October sounds like it should be the eighth month. After all, “Oct” is the prefix for “eight.” I think your brain is just smarter than our calendar.

  2. I did that this morning when making hotel reservations…typed 8/29 instead of 10/29. I wonder if Ricky is right about that…it’s certainly NOT because I wish it were August. Not August in Atlanta, anyway.

  3. Hey Elizabeth, I’m FROM Atlanta! Small world. Atlanta in summer sucks. But it sucks in New York too when you have an apartment with no A/C!

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