The Autumn Autonomy

Even though the weather is still in triple digits, I am counting down to days to fall. All of our fall and Halloween stuff is out of the garage and waiting patiently in our living room.

Don’t get me wrong. I missed these days

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but I do not like it when my t-shirt sticks to my back, always feeling like I am the only one sweating in the entire room, and not being able to run as long as I have in cooler weather.

Plants begin to wither, trees start to lose their leaves but fall represents more than the change in weather. When I taught, the season brought a new classroom of students and their families to get to know, starting fresh with rested minds. It means getting back to work after a few weeks of a restless summer. Fall brings a string of holidays that have been commercialized to no end but each year brings hope that more and more people are rejecting the material side of holidays.

Each year, I get excited about hitting the Christmas sales. As I get older I know it is not about spending money, not about trampling others for good deals on electronics we don’t need, and certainly not about who is going to get me what (though I would really like a new coffee mug as they tend to break over time; must be overuse from coffee and/or ice cream).

I realized years ago that if for any reason I cannot walk away from my shopping cart, then I am taking this way too seriously. And so has shaped my excursions. I enjoy people watching with friends willing to brave the crowd and talking to others in line. Oh, I’ve run into my share of rude people and ignore them as I don’t want to waste a moment of my life on people giving off such negative energy. Many are there with families and have plenty of stories to tell of past shopping trips and Thanksgiving dinners.

In many conversations with friends and family, I bring up the possibility of NOT exchanging gifts, of throwing a slumber party full of pizza and sugar that kids should enjoy once in a while. I think this idea would work with our friends and some family members. In fact, I am planning two cookie decorating and craft nights for our friends and ending each evening with bringing the fruits of our labor and the gift of song to a nearby convalescent home. I can think of no better way to celebrate the season than by sharing cookies and cards with others.

Because of the lingering summer, our welcome to fall will be delayed by a few weeks. This will give us time to remember what our traditions are and ponder what new ones we can begin. I look forward to sharing these with you and reading about yours as well.

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