Make Space for New Seasons
The back-to-school transition is behind us and, ready or not, we’re on to full on FALL! Embracing new seasons is the focus for this Monday’s “Make Space for…” theme. And, what a perfect time to create some physical and mental space for all the good that comes along with them.
- Before you change over your closet to cool weather clothes, try things on and give them a once over. Inspect your clothes to ensure everything is in good condition and fits well. Do any shoes or boots need to be repaired? Get that done now so you’re starting the season fresh.
- Do you have a system for storing summer items? There’s no right or wrong way to do this. You could pack up summer things in labeled bins. Or maybe you have enough room to keep clothing for all seasons together in one closet year round. Find something that works for you.
- Assess your overall wardrobe for gaps. Are you in need of any fall items? Tis the season for cozy sweaters and cute boots.
This time of year is particularly ripe with traditions. Some of our favorites are Friday family movie night, picking apples, getting cider and doughnuts, carving pumpkins, hosting a Halloween get together, and wearing themed family Halloween costumes.
This year we’re not doing a family theme, as the kids are getting older and their costume interests are diverging. It has been a good reminder to cherish traditions while they last! Let’s guard our schedules so that we can carve out time for these things. They really do matter and can make for some lasting memories.
You may want to ask your kids what their favorite traditions are. Don’t be surprised if they mention something that you never considered was a tradition – but THEY do! This was the case with my daughter, who, turns out, cherishes setting up the Dickens Village sets at my parents’ house. This holds deep meaning for her, and, since we’re now aware, we can prioritize this special activity.
Consider introducing a new tradition to the season, based on the ages of your kids or the interests of your family members. We’ve recently started gathering to watch Sunday football or volleyball matches on youtube, which has been a fun point of connection after a busy week.
Usher in all the fall feels with some home decor. There’s something about a change in physical space that helps to welcome in the new. No need to go overboard here. A simple and inexpensive update of your kitchen table decor or front porch foliage can go a long way.
Bring out those fall recipes! Make something tried and true like a traditional hearty soup, or get adventurous and make something new. Pinterest and the internet at large are great resources for discovering what may end up being a new favorite!
You could also call these resolutions, but they aren’t limited to Jan. 1. Any time there’s a change of calendar seasons, or a significant life event, is a good opportunity to be intentional about what to bring forward and what to leave behind.
One idea I like is to choose a word for the year, or a new one each quarter or season, to focus on. Examples could include intentionality, service, grace, bravery, or gratitude. Once you decide on something, focus on how to cultivate these concepts more in your life. If you choose service, find a cause you’re passionate about, and commit to serving them in a way that feels right to you. If you choose gratitude, consider starting a gratitude journal.
Whatever you choose, write it down. There’s power in this simple act, and it’s a good accountability strategy.
- I’m going to leave you with this – and I think it has tremendous potential to improve your life. Here in the Midwest, fall, and certainly winter, can be cold. And dreary. Complaining about it is common, almost expected. Not by everyone (winter die hards do exist!), but by many. I’m proposing something radical. It’s a challenge that I know you’re up for. Ready?
- DECIDE to look for good in it. Why? Because it won’t hurt – it can only help. You WILL find the good. Choosing our outlook is a habit worth pursuing. This isn’t head in the sand Pollayanna-ish. Sure, there’s an element of fake it till you make it at first, but you will start to see beauty, promise, opportunity, and inherent goodness in all seasons.
- Shimmering snow on tree branches is breathtaking! (Or was it the sub zero temps that took your breath away? Wink wink). Bundle up, get out and enjoy it! Make memories with your kids by putting on rain gear and splashing in puddles! Discover an outdoor family activity everyone can enjoy together – rosy cheeks and all! Or gather round the fireplace with some hot chocolate. It’s a great season for that, too.
- Our kids, with their perceptive listening ears and watching eyes, will adopt the attitude and outlook we display. That is my “why” for taking on this challenge. The more we cultivate a positive attitude, the more they will, too. So, let’s not propagate complaining. Let’s not propagate the lie that there’s only good in part of the year, but, instead, embrace a spirit of adventure and renewal in every season.
- Outlook doesn’t have to be weather related, either. What good can you find now, in your current circumstance? It’s all around us, waiting to be discovered.