Keeping up with October

Fall tends to be a busy time in newsrooms, and maybe out in the real world, too. Even if the only extra activity was Friday night football coverage, we would have a bit more on our plates around here. But it is more than that. School is back in session, politics are in full swing, a slew of holidays are on their way, we are working on publications such as our annual cookbook or Ghost Stories tab, the list goes on.

Fine, we’re busy around here. A person should be able to handle that. But the trouble for me is that fall also seems to be the time of year in which I overbook myself outside the office. It’s a regular October occurrence for me to lose my mind, find it again, then not be able to make it up.

I had thought I was doing all right, until a friend of mine, whom I had been asking for advice on what to pack for an out-of-town event, gently pointed out the event in question is NEXT weekend.

Oh. Right, I thought. Well, then, what am I packing for right now? I asked, apparently hoping the jacket in my left hand would answer me. My friend reminded me, and I was back on track.

Later, in conversation with another friend, I was talking about all the things that will need to get done once I return from the first trip. You know, the usual, go to grocery store, clean house, prepare for out-of-town guests, check in with the office to catch up on what I missed during the Friday I was gone … Oh, and then set up for the chili cookoff Saturday morning.

“Um … when are you going to make your chili?” my friend asked.

Uh oh.

Making five gallons of chili from scratch takes a little bit of time, you see.

Of course, by the time anyone reads this, I will have already made the chili, set up the tent, participated in the cookoff, torn down the tent, and brought my guests back to my house.

I wonder how my chili did … or, will do? See? Crazy.

This is how I end up doing things like putting the milk away in a kitchen cabinet while the cereal ends up in the refrigerator; or walking into the same room three times before I remember why I was walking in that direction.

But I love every second of it. I would rather be busy to the point of slight dingbattiness than sitting around with nothing to do.

And, believe me, I do have plenty of weighty things to say about Russia and Syria, Hillary Clinton’s emails, the Environmental Protection Agency, federal money in local schools or the efforts of local charitable organizations to gear up for their busiest season. The trouble is most of it is floating around in there with things like “I need to pick up more cayenne pepper,” and “what happened to the boots I want to wear in three weeks?”

I’m sure I’ll get back to all that next time around. But in the meantime, for anyone else October has found slightly unhinged, join me in hanging on, and enjoying the ride!

Christina Myer is executive editor of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. She can be reached via e-mail at