“The idea that we should always be ‘seizing the day’ and ‘pushing through’ is ridiculous. We have seasons for a reason.” —Michaela Chung, author of The Irresistible Introvert: Harness the Power of Quiet Charisma in a Loud World
Over the past weekend summer shifted into fall here in the Pacific Northwest. The nights have gravitated toward near freezing temperatures, the sun sets at approximately 6:45 in the evening and the fewest of leaves have begun their graceful transformation into the ruby and golden hues to be revealed in full before their long goodbye.
September continues to be at the top of the list when it comes to my favorite months, primarily due to the weather, but as I was reading Michaela Chung’s book quoted from above, her mention of the need to observe and savor the gifts provided by Mother Nature’s seasons with regards to how we conduct our lives was poignant, prudent advice.
After all, if you are someone who lives in an environment that experiences all four seasons, you know there is a longing for our favorite season (for each individual it will be different) to return, but we do know it will return.
Much like having our favorite dessert every night of the week for an entire year, if we were given such a luxury, it may not continue to be a luxury for long. And the truth is,!our bodies, our tastebuds need variation. If not to heighten appreciation than to save our waistlines.
Today I’d like to share with you five reasons to enjoy the gift of the seasons. Some are whimsical and some more pointed. However, all are reasons why I am grateful to have the opportunity (as shown above in the image) to truly savor all four right outside my front door.
1. It would be expensive
Imagine having the holidays observed in December every month of the year? No more would we anticipate the festivities, the gatherings, the gift-giving or receiving. Partly because again it would be too much of a luxury, but also because it is a budget’s nightmare if not handled properly.
The same could be said for when we prefer to travel. Having the seasons enables us the time to save, plan and anticipate what we have longed to explore, see and visit, this building our appreciation.
2. Time to contemplate and assess
During the winter months, primarily after the holidays, but sometimes during, I find such space to be the ideal time for planning for big projects. If the project is already in progress and can be tended to indoors, much can be accomplished as well, but primarily, the short days and long, blanket-swaddled evenings are perfect for exploration of dreams, goals and places to stride toward.
As well, as winter does occur during the beginning of the new year, assessing what has gone well and what could be improved is given close attention. Time is available to tweak, adjust and get it right in order to try doing it better in the new year.
3. Energy to take action
Since winter enables restoration, when spring, the season of renewal, arrives, the body and mind are rested and ready to make progress, perhaps travel or take new classes and try something new, maybe even have the strength to sh d anything unwanted.
4. Time to play
As spring leads into summer, and the days grow longer, there is more time to tinker outside. Playing on the water with the paddle board in my case, putzing in the yard, strolling through farmers markets or hopping in the car for a road trip and sometimes even onto a plane to spend time in another state or another country.
Playing is exploring. When we explore, we are feeding our curiosity. New ideas spring forth, new observations of the world can be experienced and as we allow our minds to wander, new connections can be made, better ideas of how to improve our lives begin to float to the surface, all because we said “go play and have a good time”.
5. Time to refocus and buckle down
After a couple of months of play, feeling productive returns to our minds. Why? Because we gave our minds and bodies the gift of shifting from diligent everyday work to luxurious free time to play and lose track of time.
When September and fall begin, my focus drills down and I ask myself, what do I want to accomplish before the year wraps up? As well, I ask myself what projects to I want to jumpstart so next summer I can play, explore and return with more ideas and inspiration?
6. A deeper appreciation for Mother Nature
From the evanescent fresh food options at farmers’ markets to the activities that can be enjoyed outside, living with four seasons heightens appreciation and asks us to savor what is given when it is given.
While some will point out living with one or two seasons an entire year is not something to scoff at. After all, not having to worry about freezing pipes or having to purchase multiple seasonal capsule wardrobes (at least two) along with the seasonal accoutrements such as sunglasses and sandals for summer, then boots and sweaters for winter, does sound much simpler. However, even if you do happen live in southern California or northeastern Spain, recognize that your life needs seasons even if the weather man will never call for snow, let alone freezing temperatures. Why?
We are capable of flourishing and blossoming to our most exquisite beauty if we understand the power of rest, exploration paired with diligence and consistent effort with deadlines. While Americans barely take two weeks of vacation time each year, doing so is an investment in our overall health. And while lounging in our comfort zone all year round may sound enticing especially if our life is hectic and tightly wound, what we would discover is that having drive, taking initiative and working toward a desired goal is a fulfilling component to incorporate into our lives as well.
Take a look around you and your life and your schedule. Have you been doing the same routine for the past 12 months? Have you gone on a vacation, even just a small, simple weekend getaway? What have you accomplished in the past 12 months? Did you take time to celebrate?
Give yourself permission to ebb and flow with the seasons and within each season there will be something to look forward to, savor and long to return as the season comes to a close each year. But just think, if we have such desires for each season, we will always have something to appreciate no matter which season it may be.
~SIMILAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
~View all TSLL’s Seasonal Inspiration posts here
Images via TSLL’s Instagram