Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mid-September Traditions

Oh, how I love the beginning of Autumn! Articles, tweets, and blog posts abound praising the high season of layering and the coziness of approaching winter. Fall feels like the beginning of a great cycle rather than the approach of the end of a year... I'll blame being raised in a "school year" for this. So we have fashion, cooler weather, football season, and-well!-Halloween on the brain.

I work in a creative atmosphere where we have a meeting every morning to discuss the day's business and tasks, with the additional interest of inspiring each in attendance. Yesterday morning I posed the question: What are your fall traditions? My crowd just looked at me. Sometimes, I can tell they think my thought process is kooky, and this was one of those times. It's still in the 90's here, so none of the "I broke out tights for the first time!" or "I took inventory of my sweater collection!" Also, traditions? As in...baking pie? Caroling??

Very late last year, I looked up and Christmas was over. I'd been so focused on work and grad school that I'd COMPLETELY MISSED the entire season of fall and, well, the holidays. They happened, I definitely dressed up for Halloween, ate a giant meal on Thanksgiving, and bought Christmas presents. But I didn't really FEEL it...I did not connect with the specialness of the season. This year I am committed to slowing down and really enjoying the "little's" of fall. Yesterday, I ate my first slice of pumpkin bread of the season. And today I dashed a little nutmeg into my coffee. I count these as mindful successes....:)

A list of other early-season traditions (some contributed by my team, who warmed quickly to my question after a bit of coaxing!)

-Decorate with pumpkins...sophisticated pumpkins. Our group cheered when one member mentioned that our grocer had "cinderella pumpkins" in stock!
-Craft a fall wreath! (one fun idea over here on A Beautiful Mess)
-Go to a high school football game (school colors, something with which to spike the hot chocolate, and pompoms optional)
-Tailgate! I'm not much for football and "my" team is going to have a dismal season, but hey! I love snacks and friends!
-Load up on tights (patterned, printed, opaque solids, tights over tights, knits...this season, mix it all up!)
-Make chili--my go-to is this sweet potato recipe!
-Order a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks...I decided yesterday I would wait until October 1 to tick this off the's all downhill after one! I am considering whipping up a substitute using almond milk and pumpkin pie spice...will let you know how this turns out...
-Start brainstorming your Halloween costume. Give yourself time to work out the amazing details so you can win that "Best Costume" prize...don't forget to work in an elastic waistband for that candy-eating contest...
-Knit yourself a turban ear-warmer! Or, have someone else provide the knitting..Cute! I'll be snapping up this lovely on payday for sure! I just love cold-weather accessories!
-Collect a stack of books for fall reading. I'll take suggestions on this one, if you've got them!
-Snag a new planner! This might be replacing my trusty moleskin when the time is right!
-Review your yearly resolutions, if you made any. How close are you to your goal? What have you accomplished? Choose the goals that are still relevant and make a plan to achieve them! And if you have to reset your goal date so it falls later than 12.31? It's okay. You can do it!
What are your little traditions? How are you celebrating fall this year?

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