“Autumn is the season to find contentment at home by paying attention to what we already have.”-Unknown
We’re a few days out from the official beginning of fall and, while it’s not my favorite season, there’s something about this time of year that always makes me feel very connected to myself. Perhaps it’s because my birthday is fast approaching or nature’s rhythms are telling me to slow down. Maybe you feel it too. I look at my cookbooks with new eyes and sparked joy, start thinking about the next project I can do or thing I can build, feel the need to journal, list, and reflect, and I want to spend my days baking bread and imagining I was in Vermont. Most importantly, I don’t want to do anything else if it doesn’t fulfill my creative homebody desires. It’s this feeling of being in tune with who I am that can simultaneously make me feel at peace and inspired, but also throw me into a panic thinking that I’m not being true to myself and the life I want to live. Anyone else ever get that way?
I recently started going to see a therapist, something I planned to put on my 27 for 27 list (25 is here and 26 is here, if you’re lost), but it looks like I got a head start. I’ve been fairly open with friends, coworkers, and family about going to therapy because, let’s be honest, we all have things that we can work through. I hope that by being open, someone who once thought that you had to be seriously suffering mentally to go to therapy might start the process of changing their opinion or even consider going themselves. Back to my main reason for sharing this, boundaries and identity have been coming up and there were a few things he said that hit home for me. First, if we don’t set our boundaries, we give that power to others and let them choose our life and our limits for us. It’s similar to telling a child that they can’t have a candy, but then giving it to them after they persist. They will stop taking any of your ‘no’s’ seriously. If we keep moving our boundaries, others will know we’re full of shit, for lack of a better phrase, and willing to cave. It’s also like the saying, “If you avoid conflict to keep the peace, you start a war inside yourself.” Second, identity is or can be deciding what we want our life to be about. In other words, our mission statement. Sometimes it takes a rephrasing of an idea for me to have that Oprah “A-ha” moment. I don’t know that I’ll go as far as to actually write a mission statement for my life, though I also wouldn’t put it past me, but it shifts my thinking and helps clear things up. Maybe it will for you as well.
Something I did do recently was make what I’m calling a “Happy List”. It’s not a list to write down every single thing that makes me happy. That can quickly become extensive. Rather, it’s a list of things that exist in my life when I’m feeling happiest. For example, friends I can share who I am with, healthier food, regular physical activity, the opportunity to get lost in an activity I enjoy, faith, etc. It’s helped me to see what I really value and even other things I could be working on. I highly suggest making a “Happy List” of your own. You just might be surprised.
That’s all I have for today. I hope you can take a little bit of something from that for yourself. Have a safe and relaxing weekend!
“Notice that Autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.”-Friedrich Nietzsche 🍂🍁