When I look at this time of year in a long-term historical context, there is a lot to be said about the awesomeness of fall. In high school it was the girls volleyball season, in college it was, well, going back to school after summer and reuniting with friends, I got married the first time in the fall, had my first post-split romance in the fall, countless fantastic Friday nights and closing weekends at Cedar Point... all coupled with cooler temperatures and a lot of miscellaneous good times.
But in 2011 we moved back to Cleveland in the fall, and that decision almost immediately felt wrong. I've written about it countless times, about how the financial implications of it certainly worked out, but it led to a little over a year of regret. At the very least, it made me finally understand that nothing has to be permanent, and that's why I live where I do now.
For some reason, I have a hard time letting go of that regret, even four years later. I'm not sure why. It was hardly the most tragic or sad time in my life. At the time I really felt that I was mastering my own destiny. Socially and professionally, it turned out to be cosmically stupid, and that still stings.
Even in the warmer climate, for some reason I still associate the season with that decision. It left me in a very strange place in the long run, where I absolutely love my life and where I live, and simultaneously wish we never left Seattle and the wonderful people and career potential it held. The thing that I'm slowly reconciling is that it's OK to view two different situations as your ideal, not with one better than the other, just different. It's kind of like the argument that I make about parenthood. It isn't that it changes you, per se, it just makes you this other thing in addition to what you were before.
We've had three fall seasons now in Orange County, two of them in our house. We were still too preoccupied with our move in the first one to think much about it, and the second was similar, only we were settling in and getting to know our neighbors. This one was a little too warm, and we had the special experience of cruising for Halloween. There is no routine or tradition in our fall at the moment, but I want to figure out a way to "take it back" and not make it about the poor decision before the course correction.
That's something we've already managed to do with the holiday season. Diana is a Christmas nut, and we have our yearly movie viewing, the Lego train, and the beautiful events and attractions now at WDW. Thanksgiving has annually involved my in-laws. Last year we had a bunch of the neighborhood families over for New Year's Eve, with the wonderful fireworks at Magic Kingdom, and I hope we can do that again this year. I want to extend that season of memory making into October and November as well.