Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Savoring Those Final Summer Days

Why do we rush the seasons?

Am I wrong when I remember that seasons during  my childhood were more clearly defined?
These days, children go back to school in August while we didn't go back to school until
after Labor Day.

While the summer flowers are blooming, the grocery stores start selling mums.
Starbucks starts selling lattes flavored with pumpkin before I'm ready to think of fall.
The Halloween displays come out in August.
The retail stores must hurry with these displays because soon we will see Christmas displays.

The autumnal equinox arrives at 4:21 a.m. EST on September 24, 2015.
Until then, it is technically still summer.
That means:
for me
the sandals can still be worn, weather permitting,
as can the sun dresses,
the shorts,
the cropped pants.
I've put away the white pants and the white shoes.
This is reflection of those rules of proper seasonal attire  that are deeply ingrained in my head:
no white shoes or pants should be worn
 before Memorial Day 
or after Labor Day.

Until September 24, it is still summer in my world.
I'm not ready to move into fall yet.
My mind and my body just aren't ready to make that transition.

Yes, just as I wrote in my last blog post, I am still on the cusp of autumn.


Cusp

[kuhsp] 

noun

a point that marks the beginning of a change
a point of transition: turning point, edge, verge

Don't rush me.
I'm not ready to make the transition.

I do admit that  transitions are difficult for me.
Today, soon after my arrival to her office, my therapist asked me an important question,
"What are you doing to prepare for the fall and winter days that are coming?"
Has she been reading my mind?

Actually, I've been giving this topic a lot of thought.
I know myself well enough to know that I must prepare for the coming days when I can't enjoy the green grass, the leafy trees, and the beautiful flowers of summer.
I must plan for those days when I feel housebound.
Those days when the snow flies, the wind blows, and the roads are covered with ice are not days that I particularly enjoy.

What am I doing to make the transition into the seasons that are coming?

This is what I am doing:
I am hanging on to summer as long as I can!

Intentional self-care does not come naturally to me.

Summer is a time when I find it easier to adopt healthier habits.
Do you find that is true?
Here are some things I'm doing to help me transition from summer into fall in a healthy way.

Mental/Emotional Self-Care
Photographs of a favorite summertime vignette are captured to remind the heart during the dark days that no doubt will come in the following months that summer will again make its appearance.


Journaling is important part of maintaining my emotional and mental health.
I love to journal on the back deck in the summer.
I love to see shadows of leaves across the page as I write.
I always miss my outdoor writing times when summer is over.




Physical Self-Care

This season, the one we are still in, is a great time to try and get in shape.
I'm exercising outside as much as I can.
We live in the most wonderful area for walking.

See what I'm talking about.
Here is a wonderful example of the hoodoo rocks or mushroom rocks that crop up all over my neighborhood.
I never tire of looking at these beautiful rocks.
Look at the interesting shapes and textures.
Don't you just love my hoodoos?

Here is an example of another hoodoo  in my area.
Notice how the colors in the formation are different from the  colors in the example above.
I love this rock.
I call her my "Cat Rock."
I like to think she keeps a protective eye on our neighborhood.


Besides walking, as a preparation for when I can no longer exercise outside,
I am trying to get in the habit of making it to the club more often.
The old hip is acting up, so I have traded Zumba Gold for water exercise.
Last week I tried Aqua Zumba.
What fun!
After class, dripping wet, I decided to dry off by lounging outside in the sun.
As a nod to those days when I was a sun worshiper,
I actually spent ten or fifteen minutes just soaking up the bright sunshine before I had to make a hasty retreat to the shade.
This is another way I am preparing for the cooler days ahead.
I am soaking up as much sun as I can while I can.

I'm also looking after my past medical issues.
I just had the five month check on my pacemaker.
My life is greatly improved since that little device was implanted in my body.
According to the last check, I have ten years left on the battery, and
I'm using it 75% of the time.
I had no events of AFib in the last two months.
Technology is wonderful.
That little device helped to make my summer a great one.

Lifestyle

I truly am trying to establish a schedule.
I do better when I have to live by the bell.
Teaching schedules gave me that discipline.
I struggle to adopt my own schedule when one is not established for me.
It has been an even larger challenge to learn to adopt a schedule
now that my husband is working retail.
Some of you may remember that my husband, after working in education for forty-two years,
decided to begin a new career by working for Apple.
He loves his job, and his job is good for him, so I am trying to adjust to a schedule that changes
day by day.
Some days he works days.
Others he works nights.
I find it nearly impossible to establish regular times for the daily tasks of living.
Since I need a time schedule that is fairly routine,
I'm still working on finding balance in this area of my life.
In the meantime,
Boston and I mark time while he is gone by walking together in the evening,
or I read or write with Boston at my feet.
Make no assumptions that I have become the number one person in Boston's life;
he still won't eat while his master is gone,
and when his master comes home there is a love fest that takes place between these two.


I'm learning lessons from my husband during this season.
Fulfilling work remains important even during the retirement years.
As I leave summer, I am pondering this life lesson.

Spiritual Self-Care

One of the greatest blessing of the past year has been the time I have spent with a very special group of ladies from my church.
We call ourselves Monica Moms.
St. Augustine's mother was named Monica.
That is where the name for our group comes from.
We pray for our children as she prayed for her son.
Every other Wednesday, we meet for two or three hours to lift up our adult children in prayer.
The time I spend with these women in prayer are times I will forever treasure.

I'm blessed to have a mother who prays for me.
Just recently, I called her and when she answered the phone, she said,
"I was just praying for you."
She is nearly 100 years old, but she continues to pray for me.
I hope to have many more summers to pray for my children.
I rest in the assurance that those prayers will forever be found at the Throne of Grace.

People Support

Summer is a perfect time for lunch with friends.
I've enjoyed many long lunches with great friends this summer.

I'm ending off the summer by going on a three day trip with my high school girl friends.
It is our big 70th birthday bash!
We have talked about and planned this trip for years.
We wanted to enter the seventh decade of our lives in a big way.
We are going on our "senior trip."
Watch out.
The Girls of '63 are heading to Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

So, during these last days summer,
I'll be off traveling.

First,
I'm getting on a train with a bunch of the girls.
That alone will be a great adventure.
Once we all arrive at our destination,
we have three days of a very full agenda planned.

I think I'm capping off the summer of 2015 in grand style.


See you all in the fall.
Enjoy the final days of summer.















20 comments:

Jackie said...

And I was lonnnnnging for Autumn....until I read this post. Sigh.
You've won me over, my friend. You've won me over.
Your photographs add beauty to an already-beautifully written post. You have a gift. Actually, many gifts....
Continue to enjoy each season. They come (and go) too quickly.
Sending you warm (no pun intended) hugs....
Jackie

Margaret Adamson said...

Love reading all your thoughts on the passing of the seasons. I just take a day at a time and don't think too much about the next season. the only think I don't like is the early dark evenings in the winter, I prefer the light evenings of spring and summer but that is probably because I canget out and about more in nature. But we are very fortunate her in N.I as there are not many days that you cannot, wrap up warm and get outside and enjoy nature even in the winter.

Olga Hebert said...

Sally, I do appreciate this thoughtful post. As long as you have all those areas covered, why worry about a schedule. Let it all ebb and flow with the seasons.

DJan said...

And in a little more than two short weeks, we'll be together on Vashon Island! I can't wait to see everybody, and Linda Reeder, too. :-)

Tom Sightings said...

I, too, like to hang onto the last days of summer. But you've got something right about transitions: I love your photos, and your new look!

Terri Tiffany said...

First, I love your pictures especially the one of hubby and dog. Very nice. And next I am so happy you are going on a trip with girlfriends! I am jealous too! :) That sounds like so much fun! Please remember to take photos and share with us.

Arkansas Patti said...

Glad Boston has accepted you as second best. He seems totally devoted to Jim. Some dogs are just one master dogs.
Summer may be fading but Fall is a favorite of mine and right around the corner with cooler weather and colorful landscapes.
The trip with your friends sounds like a lot of fun and I will be anxious to hear about your Vashon weekend. Keep making the best out of every season. They all have blessings for us, even winter.

dkzody said...

I am SO jealous of your trip with your friends to celebrate the Class of 63 turning 70. I wish I had friends with whom I could do such a trip. There is no way that I could get the group to coordinate such an event. They have trouble coordinating lunch once a month. It makes me tired the way we haggle about a lunch date and place.

Barb said...

Sally, I can't believe it, but I'm also going on a Girlfriends' Trip to Glenwood on the train! The 5 of us leave on Oct 6 from Union Station - we're staying the night of the 5th at the Oxford. We try to do a trip at least once a year - this is to celebrate one of the gals 75th. It's already looking like fall here in Breckenridge and cooler weather is upon us. It has gone to freezing several nights but not long enough to completely stunt my flowers. I guess I'd have to say I've crossed over into fall already. When we hiked today, the leaves were gorgeous. I love your Hoodoos. Have you ever spotted any mountain lions in your neighborhood? My son and family live in Evergreen and neighbors have a watch system to warn others if there is a sighting. Have fun Sally and stay well!

Linda Reeder said...

Leaving summer behind make me melancholy, but then I get busy with the tasks of transitioning and they carry me along until, what do you know, it's autumn!
I like schedules, too, and I make a plan for each day with at least one purposeful activity to accomplish, even if it's just getting my walk in and doing the grocery shopping. It's easy to fill in the rest of the day, and i find myself here at 10:00 in the evening finally getting to my blogging!

Jeanie said...

Like you, I am wringing the sweat out of the last days of summer. I'm seeing the light change, the skies darken sooner and I'm shifting into more of a fall schedule which means the pool is closed, spinning will resume, and I'll have those "wrap up for the season" tasks, like caring for the potted plants and either bringing them inside (where they will die a slow and lingering death in my light-deprived house) or just dump 'em now. And finishing work on the cottage and buttoning that down for the season.

I find I work best with a routine, one that I allow myself to change if need be. Mine involves computer time in the morning -- blogs, etc.; then contract work if I have any; two or three days of spinning and the gym. I'm trying to get my house under control and I find that so stressful I need to schedule that too. And look ahead toward the Busy Season, getting inventory ready for my sale, all that. But I'm trying to spend as much time outside as I can because in three months, I won't want to!

Your plans sound excellent and I'm glad you have good support and options around you. Your reunion sounds like such fun! You definitely have a lot to anticipate!

Lin Floyd said...

enjoyed reading of your last days of summer. I'm taking care of some medical issues and getting cataract surgery on one eye then two weeks later the other...keeping care of our bodies, spirits and intellect is so important and socializing....thanks for sharing your days!

troutbirder said...

It seems to me the seasonal changes and transitions come faster and faster and I do less and less at an ever slower pace.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I was outside in my backyard today with my two and a half year old granddaughter, and I told her to look at the leaves on the trees and enjoy them rustling in the breeze. I tried to explain to her that soon those leaves would change color and fall to the ground. I told her we have to enjoy summer as long as it lasts!

Enjoy your trip to Glenwood Springs, Sally!

Deb Shucka said...

Don't forget you'll be starting fall with another group of ladies who will help light the way into winter! As much as I love summer, I love fall even more. Especially when the days are sunny and everything in the world goes golden. I can hardly wait to see you!

Rose said...

You are an inspiration, Sally, as you make the most of every moment! Although I long for cooler days, I am not ready to think about winter. Autumn is often a short season here, and I intend to enjoy every moment of it I can. Those hoodoo rocks are so interesting!

Vagabonde said...

You have a good schedule for all things. It is true that marketing hurry-up the seasons for their themed sales. Here, I don’t feel the change of seasons that much – our routine is about the same all the time. With so many pine trees, magnolias and camellias, we always have green around us. Last year we did not have any snow or even ice. We usually drive to the North GA Mountains to see the change of colors in the fall, because here we don’t see them much. Fall is my favorite season though because it is getting cooler finally.

Jean said...

I'm ready for autumn, so I especially enjoyed this post. Wonderful photo of your husband and his special fan. I measure the approach of autumn by the amount of shade on our back deck at noon. Yesterday I noticed the entire deck is shaded at noon.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

It seems that you are paying a lot of attention to your well-being on every level, which is probably the best habit to continue through any process of transition. I feel as though I'm calm and accepting of the coming of autumn, but maybe I'm just not paying attention!!

Kay said...

I am sort of secretly traveling right now. It's been a rather hectic, crazy second half of the year with the birth of our grandson and traveling back and forth to Hershey and Chicago. On the plus side (aside from enjoying our children and grandchildren) we're getting to see lovely fall colors.