Fall is my favourite season, there’s no doubt. But it wasn’t always this way. My birthday is in October and my entire childhood I remember it falling on a weekday. I hated it. I wanted to have a ‘normal’ birthday like ‘all normal kids did’ – a birthday that would fall on a hot summer day, with water splashes and ice cream. Instead I had to go to school and deal with people not remembering that it was my birthday.
For years I used to associate fall with an end of something. The end of summer, the end of my year, the end of a relationship (it so happened that all of my previous relationships used to end in fall). It was only some 11 years ago that upon ending one relationship I met my future husband. It was him who changed my perception of fall initially and instead of associating it with an end I started to view it as a beginning. It was the beginning of a new chapter in my life and it made me fall in love with Fall.
As time passed I started noticing so many things around me, so many fascinating colours. That drop of temperature that makes you want to wrap up in scarves and hats and light a fire every evening, that fresh breeze that makes you want to open a window and stick your nose out in the cold, that fog that lines the fields in early mornings, the dusk that sets so early and makes evening walks so magical, and of course the sun shining so bright right through the golden rustle of the leaves. Now, unfortunately, the golden season in Ireland is as quick and easy to miss as a ripe avocado. Not yet, not yet, not yet, not yet, RIGHT NOW, and then it’s too late. As of October 7th, it’s not truly golden yet. And once it is, I can guarantee that in just a few days all the foliage will turn brown and fall. But I still love to watch this subtle change from day to day, even if it’s barely there.
Time for new beginnings
It is natural for me to associate fall with an end of some sort, probably because of my birthday. But I also learned that where one thing ends, another one begins. So for me fall is the end of one year and the beginning of another. It is time to reflect on what I learned and experienced during the past year and find how to apply this experience and knowledge to they year ahead. It is time to analyse my successes and failures, to make a plan and start working on it. I like starting new things and studies this time of the year. I view fall as the most productive time of the year, with the new year being the second best but definitely overused and overrated. Regarding fall though, I believe that there’s a reason behind why all schools and colleges start in September. Maybe it is meant to be.
Of course, new beginning does not always mean something completely new. During the summer I almost completely neglected some aspects of my life, such as writing, studying and exercising. There was little time for it, but I’m not trying to make an excuse. I could have found time if I wanted. The truth is, during summer my brain seems to relax and refuse to work. But that wasn’t the biggest problem. The main problem became what is commonly called a writer’s block, but it didn’t just apply to writing. It was everywhere. I just couldn’t bring myself to the idea of doing what I used to do. Call me lazy if you want. Maybe I was, in part. But I experienced some kind of apathy to many things in life that once were so important. I had to take that summer off and just let myself recharge. Now, recharged, I am happy to resume all those things with new strength and enthusiasm.
Time to let go
You cannot begin something new without letting go of something old, be it the old habits or old things. If you do not let go of the old, things just pile up and clutter up your life, from physical place to mental state. Clutter is always overwhelming, it doesn’t let you get your act together and focus on things that are important. This is why before starting something new it is important to review your current state of things, mind, etc. and let go of everything that has no meaning and just takes up space. You might want to clear your wardrobe or rid your living space of unnecessary clutter, you might want to drop the affairs and activities that occupy your time and mind. Whatever it is, fall is a perfect time to make more room for something new and exciting. Even Mother Nature does it, so maybe you should too.
My goals for Fall 2017
Positive changes and success do not come without proper goal setting, so this step is important. It also helps to tell your goals to people around you (but select carefully!) because that motivates you to work on your goals. It is basic psychology really, none of us want to seem like we’re talking too much and doing too little. So once you told someone about your goals you are more likely to work harder to achieve your goals. It’s also good to have someone who can keep you accountable.
As to my personal goals, they are simple but yet take some effort, but I am willing to commit once again. My main goals are:
- Get back to writing. Writer’s block wasn’t fun and not being able to write made me feel not myself. I’ve always been writing something, ever since I learned to write at age 5. Even writing this blog makes me feel alive again and I just love it.
- Exercise more. This is another part of my lifestyle that makes me not be me when I neglect it. During the past years I never missed an opportunity to go to gym or do something active. But with a new baby and another kid starting school it became tough to get even a 15 minute workout in. As the baby grew she became more and more demanding and between constantly entertaining her and managing my teen-like 5 year old I felt exhausted by the time any window for some exercise appeared. But now it is time to change this around and get ME back.
- Become a morning person. Whoever knows me well, they know that I am not a morning person. I’ve never been one and I used to love being up on my own late at night. I loved to seize the night instead of the day. With kids it all changed and I am too tired to stay up at night. And I think that mornings are more special anyway and are the best time to get working, but the prospect of a morning nap is too tempting. I’ve done some good progress so far, but there’s more to work on.
- Minimise stuff. This is another area where I have done some progress, but more needs to be done. I am by no means a hoarder, and I’m a minimalist in my heart, but because stuff tends to accumulate no matter what I find hard to organise and manage it. So minimising our stuff and learning how to keep it under control is another big goal of mine. With the seasons changing I think it’s a great time to start.
- Study and more study. This one is important. And I am already on it, but I need a more consistent routine. I really enjoy studying and learning new things and once I’ve started I cannot stop. Starting is the hardest part, but maybe some scheduling will help.
Books: The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm and Mindful in a Fast-Paced World by Haemin Sunim.
Films: Harry Potter movie marathon ’cause Halloween is getting closer.
Music: Coldplay. All the way.
Foods: Butternut Squash & Lentil Curried Stew, Creamy Cashew Tofu & Noodles.
Drinks: Pumpkin Spice Latte, but not the Starbucks’ one (too much sugar and all things nasty) and Masala Chai.
Activities: Nature walks, Morning walks, Hiking, Knitting & Reading.