Fall is best known as the season of endings; the end of the growing season, the end of summer and the end of long lazy days. For me, fall has always meant beginnings. Maybe it is the teacher in me, but spring has always brought endings, while fall brings a new year with new possibilities. I love the excitement of a new school year, new classes, new students and new school supplies. I love that my daughter shares the same excitement for a new year.
In addition, there are all the traditional reasons to love fall: cooler temperatures, sweater season, the beauty that is fall foliage in New England, and apple everything (sorry pumpkin spice people). My birthday is in the fall, and I have always enjoyed celebrating with a nice family dinner. As I get older, finding time to be with friends and family gets harder, making it more precious to me. Birthdays seem like a perfect reason to get everyone together for a nice meal. I mean who would deny a birthday girl a simple dinner?
More than any of that, fall is a time for me to look at my schedule and set up new routines. I enjoy rethinking my days, and filling them with what brings me joy. This is where I shine. Plans, routines, and schedules bring me joy, a sense of peace, and a feeling of control. An unplanned weekend feels wasted, and leaves me feeling restless. Evenings without a to do list, and preparations for the next day leaves me feeling anxious over being able to get it all done the next morning.
While I do not understand my love of a busy schedule, when time is limited I am more acutely aware of the need to make time for myself, and am able to make that time. With a busy schedule, I can take a day off and enjoy that well earned time off. A book read or movie watched after accomplishing a mountain of tasks feels sweet to me. I find that during the fall and winter months, I am better able to take care of myself mentally and physically. I am able to make time for yoga or meditation. I’m also more motivated to write, and do so with great enthusiasm. Maybe it is the cooler weather, maybe I am at my most comfortable and relaxed in jeans and sweaters, or maybe I am motivated by the candles and twinkle lights I have around my home. Someday I will figure out how to best take care of myself all year long. For now, I can rejoice that my season to shine is coming up. The days in my calendar are quickly filling up for the months ahead, and I am gleefully finding moments in my scheduled days to give back to myself and it feels right.