Fall is officially here and with it comes change. There are the obvious changes in nature happening right outside with cooler, shorter days, changing leaves, and fading summer flowers. There’s also the changes taking place inside and outside my home as I start pulling out my fall decor and opt for cheery mums to replace our summer annuals in the flower beds. Additionally, there are changes happening for me personally, both on the outside as I transition into my fall wardrobe of jeans, boots, scarves, and sweaters, and on the inside as I take time to evaluate where I’ve been, where I am heading, and, most importantly, where I am right now. Changes all around are stirring up with the autumn wind.
Sure signs of Fall abounded this past weekend, most apparent of all being the clear shift in weather from muggy, humid days in the 80s to cooler, drier temperatures hovering in the upper 50s and 60s. It is absolutely stunningly gorgeous weather right now. This is one of my favorite times of year weather-wise in the Chicagoland area. The sun is shining enough to keep you warm outside with a light jacket, and the cool autumn breeze feels refreshing. The leaves have just started to shift in our neighborhood and I look forward to the full turn that will occur in the next several weeks. This is perfect Winnie Weather as I like to call it. My little pup has extra pep in her step on our walks and we’re very much enjoying our twice dailies together. I even pulled out her fall leash, which, like all the rest of her leads and collars, is by Up Country.
Another sign of Fall’s return for me is Martha Stewart’s annual special edition Halloween magazine. I spied this while waiting in line to check out at Whole Foods just the other day and was happy to see a new cover, as opposed to last year’s reprint from a previous edition. I am hoping this year’s copy includes new and fresh ideas. More than anything, I enjoy the beautiful pictures that Martha Stewart prints always include. This definitely puts me in the mood to start decorating for Halloween, which I will most likely do in my home next week. It also reminds me that it’s time to pick up some pumpkins for our front porch.
The start of a new season of the Joffrey Ballet is yet another joy I look forward to every autumn. The standard season doesn’t normally begin until late October, but this year the Joffrey added a special Russian Masters program. I was happy to snatch up tickets considering there were only four performances. My Mom and I thoroughly enjoyed the program, half of which we’ve seen Joffrey perform in years past, but half of which was a new experience for us. I especially enjoyed the contemporary pieces choreographed by Yuri Possokhov. I am looking forward to the official start of the season with La Bayadare, which we will see later next month. It’s always fun to go to the ballet with Mom!
Changes on the Inside
I’ve been experiencing some minor but chronic health issues over the past few months, which I touched on in my latest target=”_blank”>Tea & Talk with Jen video on MHWL. After receiving a clean bill of health from my GP months ago, I decided I needed to make some changes on my own to see if I could alleviate some of the issues I’ve been experiencing. I figured the best place to start was my diet. I made small changes gradually over the course of the summer and now am at a point where I’ve cut out alcohol, most caffeine (aside from green & white teas), and most important of all, refined sugar. I’ve even been putting less honey in my tea! I’ve been focusing on eating whole, unprocessed foods when I can and incorporating a more balanced approach to each meal. I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater for the most part, but my sweet tooth used to get the better of me. Now, I am proud to say I have cut dramatically back to just one treat per week (for real!). This is huge for me and I am very proud of my progress weaning off of sugary treats. I’m still working on getting back to a place where I feel like my most healthy self again, but I know that these nutritional choices will pay off in the long run. I am even exploring a new way of reaching optimal health through acupuncture, something I thought I would never be brave enough to try. I’ll keep you posted on how these things impact my overall health (for better or worse) over the next several months. In the meantime, I know that the silver lining of not feeling 100% is the opportunity to explore new ways to improve my general health and wellbeing. This quote from my Mary Engelbreit Page-A-Day calendar today is quite fitting in that respect:
Clouds may come, but clouds must go,
and they have a silver lining,
For beyond them all, you know,
the sun or moon is shining.
One of the great joys for me in this life is that there are infinite opportunities to learn more about myself, the people around me, the world, and the way things work. If you are open and willing, you never stop learning or growing in ways you could never imagine. Isn’t that wonderful? 🙂