I’m a big fan of making lists. It helps me be productive and prioritize what I’d like to do. Being out of school for a few years now, having goals and check lists helps me feel like I’m accomplishing something and growing.
But sometimes, I need to put aside the to do lists. I’ve been reminded of that this fall when I’ve been pretty worn out most nights when I get home and just can’t seem to check off all the things I want to do.
I’ve been trying to shift my focus from quantity to quality, and I received some inspiration from ‘Peach and Humble’s Autumn on Purpose’ at just the right time. This week’s newsletter included this:
For the last several years, I have been creating seasonal bucket lists packed with things I wanted to do before the season ended. They were always fun things like “bake an apple pie” or “go the pumpkin patch” but they were a checklist of tasks, nonetheless. More things-to-do stacked on top of my already long list of things-to-do. And even though I wanted to do all of these bucket list items, I noticed I was starting to check off fewer and fewer tasks as the years went on. Then, without fail, I would feel guilty and as though we had somehow missed the season because we didn’t finish our list.
I read that and had an immediate “aha” moment. I do the same thing every season and inevitably feel the same mixture of guilt and disappointment as each new season approached. The solution?? Focus on a few simple traditions that you absolutely love to keep around as your seasonal rituals.
I love taking the focus away from trying to accomplish every single thing you associate with a holiday or time of year and shifting it instead to a few simple traditions that bring you a lot of joy. This means finding ways to avoid the typical holiday shopping, and “hustle & bustle”. I usually off-set some of this chaos by doing most of my shopping online on my laptop laying in bed; a little each night and over the period of a week I’m done. As for decking the halls, this year I am going to likely get some ideas online to change things up a bit and go with some decor styles that my husband will find impressive.
I started making a mental list of my favorite fall traditions, and I almost immediately had about ten things. And I thought — no — that’s the opposite of what I’m supposed to be doing with this exercise! Remember — less is more!!
After some deliberation, I narrowed my special fall traditions list to the following:
- Watch the Great Pumpkin (preferably while snuggling with beagles)
- Bake something delicious
- Enjoy the changing colors (snap pictures as desired)
- Go apple/pumpkin picking
Everything else is icing on the cake.
In summary, goals and check lists have their place, but if I really want to enjoy a season, I need to allow myself to be fully present in it. And that means not having a list of goals and expectations. Wish me luck as I try this out the rest of autumn.
P.S. It’s not too late to check out Peach and Humble’s Autumn on Purpose series. Sign up to receive a weekly inspirational newsletter in your inbox.
What are your favorite fall traditions?