The Autumn of My Discontent

I wake up worrying about Autumn.

It seems so far away and yet some mornings, when I go out to the garden wrapped in only a bedsheet to drink my coffee and smoke a cigarette, Autumn taps me on the shoulder, smiles at me in a way that makes my skin ache and reminds me that it never left.

There have been too many mornings like this lately. I decide to phone an old friend who is a “mindfulness teacher” but I don’t expect to learn much; I dread all of the seasons, past, present and future.

I’m worried about Autumn.

Good morning to you too! Yeah, I’m great, thanks for asking.


I’m sorry, babe. Sorry. I’m just worried about Autumn.


…but it’s Spring.


I know.


…not Autumn.


Yeah, I know.


*exasperated sigh* Babes, listen to me, you need to live in the present, in the Now, in the Spring.


I am, I am, but I’m also living in past seasons and future ones, too. All of the seasons. All of the lives. All of the time. All of it. But mainly Autumn. 


But it’s not Autumn right now, Autumn is in the future, Autumn is… Why are you wasting your time worrying about something that is entirely out of your control?


That’s exactly why I’m worrying! Why aren’t you?


Why aren’t I what?


Worrying about Autumn.


We have enough things to worry about today–


Jesus. Sounds fucking bleak to me. Bleaker than winter, which I wasn’t even that concerned about, but now…


Sorry, not “worry”, I mean “focus.” We have enough things to focus on today yet alone things that may or may not happen in six months.


Can’t I worry about both?


Ye—NO! No. Don’t do that!


Are you talking to me?


Yeah. And the dog. He’s eating my tights. For fuck’s sake.


Wait, so you mean to tell me that you never worry about your future?


What? Yeah. Sure I do. Of course. I mean, we all do.


Right…


It’s just better to live life one moment, one hour, one day at a time.


Says who?


What?


Who decided what is the best way to live life? Presumably someone who’s now dead. What scale does mindfulness use to gauge which ways of living are “better” than others? What is “better”? What might be better for me may not be better for you, surely?


God, Jesus, I don’t know, it’s too early for you and your mad tangents.


Have you ever felt suicidal?


What the fuck? No!


Then I don’t think you know what it means to live one moment, one hour, one day at a time.


Ugh, you’re probably right.


Of course I am.


Look, I just don’t want you to worry about Autumn when it’s currently Spring. That’s all.


Even though you and the whole world and his wife and his dog admit to worrying about one’s future to some extent?


Erm…


I can’t believe people pay you to listen to this shit.


I know right.


Did you pay $80 to some joker online to get a certificate sent to you with your name on it deeming you a qualified mindfulness teacher?


Something like that. Although I watched some YouTube tutorials too, you know, to “guide me.”


Wow. What happened to becoming a solicitor?


Oh, I failed all of my big exams and I’m too embarrassed to do all that again.


Because you weren’t focused on the present during your exam, or perhaps because you were actually “too immersed” in the moment, or maybe you were just (understandably) worrying about your future?


Right, goodbye!


Ha! Bye, love. Good chat. Good chat.


No more Autumn!


Fine.


Or Winter.


We’ll see… Wait!!!


What?


Aren’t you going to wish me a “mindful day”?


Piss off!


Charming. Send me an invoice.


No, I’ll just pray for you instead.

Certificate or no certificate, I’m still worried about the seasons. And now my friend is, too.

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