Autumn Plans

Autumn came in quite abruptly at the start of September, and this weekend is the official first day of autumn. I always have mixed feelings about this season. On the one hand, like many people I certainly love the changing colours, the excuse to start baking, and, yes, a seasonal Starbucks latte. Those blustery days when all the leaves are falling and the university term is beginning always fill me with a little thrill of anticipation, the feeling that exciting things are going to happen. It makes me think of this, the first week of my first term in Oxford, in an image which hugely evocative for me:


But I do also feel apprehensive about autumn, because it shades very quickly into depressing short days, and in the last few of years it’s been the autumn term that has been most stressful with either lots of moving around or a tiring routine of teaching. It’s a time of year when I often feel very anxious. And the British autumn doesn’t have Thanksgiving to rescue us from November! (Though I plan to celebrate it anyway.)

So, a while back, I thought that one way of making autumn seem more bearable would simply be to be prepared with a list of ways I could be ‘ready’ for it, as well as ideas for how to spend my time when the evenings are dark. It’s a way of bringing my focus to the pleasant things that autumn affords, and also treating it as a ‘season’ to remind myself that it doesn’t last forever. (Now, if only someone could think of a way to make January-March an enjoyable season! Maybe that will be my next project.)

Here are some of the things I’d like to do this autumn.

Rotate and repair my wardrobe. This is a very homemaker-y thing to do, but in some of my recent reading I’ve learned about mid-century advice for keeping clothes in good condition, including keeping them repaired promptly and storing them properly. One thing I’ve almost always done is keep out of season clothes packed away, mostly because my closet and drawers are too stuffed otherwise and it’s hard to keep things tidy. So I’m planning to:

  • Clean my summer clothes and pack them neatly away (I have some storage at the bottom of my closet and under the bed), and pull out my cold-weather clothes
  • Give my nice jumpers a good launder (most are hand wash)
  • Similarly with my scarves – clean them and freshen them up
  • Repair little holes (namely in my tights!) and make small alterations as needed
  • Give my shoes a good clean and weatherproofing

Take care of my health. This is an ongoing goal, a result of very bad health a couple of years ago which was a clear result of not taking care of myself. So, this year, I plan to make sure that I:

  • Take my vitamins (in general I prefer to focus on a healthy diet, but I’m taking a few specific supplements for specific issues)
  • Get some sunlight and exercise when I can
  • Eat nutrient-rich food (such as by eating vegetables and making homemade broth)

Enjoy a little autumnal decorating. I like to change up the decor a little bit according to the seasons, so I might try a few decorating ideas like:

  • Bringing out the seasonal candles
  • Making centrepieces from natural materials like squash (which would eventually be turned into soup!)

Get started early on Christmas projects. This includes both gifts and decoration. I do try to wait until the end of November before starting the Christmas mood in earnest, but if I want to make homemade gifts it’s good to get started early so I’m not rushed. I’m hoping to:

  • Make a couple of Christmas presents
  • Try making some Christmas decorations like a wreath and garland, and maybe some salt dough ornaments
  • Stock up the freezer with cookies and other treats

Have craft and sewing projects going. Mike and I are homebodies and pronounced introverts, so we try not to fill all our free time with activities. That means that there are a lot of evenings and weekends at home, which can get depressing in the winter when the days are short. I’m always glad when I have a list of ideas for projects to fill my time, both ongoing ones and smaller things that can be satisfyingly completed in an evening. Here are a few things on my list:

  • Replenish some of my homemade products like lip balm, facial oil, and body moisturiser to fend off dry skin! I might try some new recipes, too
  • Make a couple of alterations to some clothes in my wardrobe that need adjustments
  • Have a knitting or embroidery project going
  • Bake more often, and maybe experiment with healthier recipes that have lower sugar and more whole grains. Besides, I need to find some good recipes calling for applesauce so I can use my homemade applesauce!
  • Of course, keep blogging!

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