I was going to share this column weeks ago when a humid spell had me panting for a cool breeze. Then, came some unseasonably cool few days! I realized if I shared my love of fall before Labor Day some might feel I was wishing their summer away. Then, here we had another hot spell last week. Truth be told, fall has always been my favorite season.
Technically, we’re just now into fall, but to my mind, Labor Day signals the start of fall, regardless of what the thermometer or the calendar tells us. While I haven’t had kids going back to school for quite a number of years, the Labor Day Holiday, the children and teachers’ returning to school mark the beginning of fall. The slower pace, for some folks anyway, begins to amp up again. Fall, for me, is like January without the snow and cold; a time of new beginnings; a clean slate of sorts.
Even when you don’t have school-age children the back-to-school ritual impacts us all. Many of us slow down a bit in summer, taking vacations and days away from work, or work at a slower pace. We enjoy not having to bundle up to go outdoors, warm-up the car, or shovel the snow. I try very hard not to complain about the heat and humidity, recalling digging out from more snow a couple of winters back than I can remember in my lifetime! I find fall a great time to renew my energies and re-align my goals to create more contentment, peace and joy in both personal and professional aspects of my life.
There’s a collective energy that signals new beginnings like there is at the beginning of the New Year. I don’t make “fall resolutions,” but as I begin to enter into the new routines of fall, I have a plan and focus on what I hope to do and BE in the coming months.
I look at the block of time from Labor Day to just before Thanksgiving as the next time frame. Chunking out blocks of time for planning is less overwhelming to me than looking an entire year ahead.
I have a plan for the next 8 weeks or so, but even that plan has flexibility. The older I get the more I’ve realized the need for both planning and flexibility. A few things in my schedule are carved in stone; most are
penciled in; and then there are the spontaneous and unexpected events. These can be wonderful and/or challenging. I’ve learned to allow for the unexpected so that I’m not thrown for a loop when the unexpected comes along. Life has taught me to be flexible. It’s been a matter of accepting flexibility or being miserable. I mostly choose flexibility.
The next following block of time will be “the holidays,” which I see as the Sunday before Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. After years of being overwhelmed at that typically hectic time of year for the most part, I’ve learned to:
- wind down rather than gear up for the holidays;
- make realistic plans and set realistic expectations;
- release the need to do, micro-manage, or be all things to all people.
I also practice creating an energy of calm and enjoyment in my world. That is to say in my immediate environment. I can’t change the people and situations around me, but I can change the situations and people I choose to be around.
Just a bit of Food For Thought as we enter another a new season of BEing. In-joy!
And don’t forget, you’re invited to attend the FREE EVENT, on Being Mortal, including a screening of the award-winning PBS Frontline documentary based on the best-selling book by Atul Gawande, MD, MPH of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. On Sunday, Oct. 22 from 2-4pm at the United Church of Christ, Norwell. For more information see the notice nearby in this Mariner Newspaper, and to register, contact Ann Finnie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-545-2663. You’ll be glad you joined us! Space is limited, so reserve your spot now!
Ann Finnie is a Scituate townie, holistic healing facilitator and spiritual guide, who works with individuals and groups with the intention of inspiring healing, hope, love, empowerment, and faith. You can find more of Ann’s writing on her blog at www.footprintsholistic.com and she can be reached at email@example.com.