As I brought my son back to school this past weekend to begin his junior year at college, it was clear to me that unofficially, fall was beginning. The change of seasons is always bittersweet to me. I love summer, and this one was particularly great. As it comes to an end, I am never really ready… I love everything about the summer from the longer less structured days, to the delicious fresh fruits and veggies, to late night swims, to picnics and concerts in the park. And as much as I love having my kid(s) here, there is a palpable sense of excitement to beginning a new season and for some, a new school year.
One of the best parts of this summer for me was the commitment that I made to unplugging one day every week for the rest of the summer. After an experience at a family reunion where I was unable to connect to the Internet, I realized what an opportunity it was for me to be fully present with my family and not distracted by emails, texts and social media. It surprised me how much the quality of my interactions changed. Over the last few months I have come to cherish these days and as a result have decided to continue with this plan at least through the end of the year.
There are some things we do in one season that we cannot do in another…or at least not in the same way. For instance, I love to swim outdoors. As soon as it is warm enough, I am in the pool every day; this is my summer exercise of choice. In truth, it never feels like exercise, it is pure joy. I have loved swimming for as long as I can remember and I can do it for hours without getting bored. But for me, the pleasure of swimming is very much connected to being outdoors. Looking up at the sky while on my back and watching the cloud formations and the birds flying is an essential ingredient. But now that the air is getting cool and crisp, I am excited to start walking or running every day. For me the key is being outside and moving as much as possible.
The things we love in one season may not translate to the next one in exactly the same way, but if we stay open minded, we can find a way to accomplish our goals while embracing the new circumstances. This is also true of the way we eat. The fresh fruits and veggies that we love to eat in the summer are beyond amazing and hard to imagine being without. However, there are also delicious (and healthy) fall fruits and veggies. Apples, pears, all kinds of squash, including pumpkins, as well as new crops of green leafy vegetables all flourish in the fall. One of my favorite things about fall is making soup on Sunday after returning from the farmers market. The aroma fills the house as I prep my fresh foods for the week.
I encourage you to look at the things you enjoy the most about summer and find a way to create the same feeling while adapting to the fall. Let’s see how we can keep the endorphins flowing!
Comment below and let me know what summer joy you are going to adapt into your fall routines.