Fall, for me, always feels like a secondary “new year.” A time to slow down and dust off after a nonstop, jam-packed summer, and turn inward and reflect on what’s next.
Perhaps you can relate – whether you’re going back to school yourself, sending your kids back, or simply sensing a turning of the tides as the magical season we call summer takes its final curtain call and that familiar chill creeps back into the air.
Fall is a good time to right our course. To cultivate new habits, or return to old loves (such as yoga class while your kids are in school – can I get an amen?).
What do you want to return to, or start anew, this fall, the season when rhythm and routine take center stage? I have a few ideas of my own, and thought I’d share in case they get your wheels turning, too…
1) I resolve to become a “night before” person. This does not come naturally to me, but I really believe if I could develop the habit of laying out clothes (mine and the kids’), packing lunches and snacks, and locating things like shoes and coats the night before each school day, we’ll all enjoy less frantic mornings.
2) Monday food prep day – I have my youngest in school M/W/F mornings this year, and I plan to use most Monday mornings to thoughtfully prep good home-cooked food for the week ahead. I envision this as chopping and storing vegetables for multiple meals, baking something easy (like banana bread or a quiche) that can contribute to quick breakfasts throughout the week and cooking a big batch of some stew/soup/roast in the slow cooker that’s large enough for leftovers. I envision these Monday morning hours as almost a religious experience adorned with coffee in my favorite mug, an audio book or TV of my choosing in the background, and a QUIET HOUSE TO MYSELF in which to work. Is there anything more glorious?
3) Explore new volunteer opportunities. Entering the world of elementary school parenthood, I’m quickly learning, means a whole slew of volunteer opportunities. I look forward to becoming a familiar face in my son’s classroom and finding my place within the school at large as I cultivate my own role in this new community that will be a part of our lives for years to come.
4) Rediscover walking. I’ve been pretty focused on running these past couple of years, but lately I’ve felt this nudging in my spirit to slow down and be content with a good walk. I’ll still run at times, but one of my newfound loves is walking to the rhythm of an engrossing audiobook (if you’re new to this media as well – Born a Crime, Something in the Water and Educated are all excellent places to start!). And of course, nothing beats a walk-and-talk with a good friend.
5) Stay in my lane. This is a broad one, but it’s something I think about a lot. To me it’s a reminder to accept what is working (and isn’t working ) FOR ME, at this season in MY life. It means practicing mindfulness around the people and influences I take into my life, time on social media, cultivating healthy routines, being conscious about comparing myself to others, etc…
And on that note, these words come to mind. I don’t know about you, but I always appreciate this wise reminder from one of my favorite writers and thinkers, Glennon Doyle:
“You can’t miss your boat. It’s yours. It stays docked till you’re ready. The only boat you can miss is someone else’s. Let them have theirs while you wait for yours.”