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The following is an edited transcript of this episode of Humans Outside.
I am not a pumpkin spice gal. Were I one, we might not need to have this conversation. Because maybe if I lived for the maple baked goods, the return of cozy sweaters and that sweet pumpkin spiced latte life, you would not need to convince me that autumn and changing leaves are a good thing. I’d be waiting and ready.
Instead, I see the changing season with an eye towards loss. You know, like my boyfriend summer is breaking up with me. It feels dramatic and tragic and straight up sad.
But just you watch, Ill get really attached to autumn coming up here in just a bit. Because while I’m looking out my window as I record these thoughts, I see yellows, greens and reds like you wouldn’t believe. The trees are moving with the slightest breeze, and I know the air is crisp and cool — but not so cool as to require thick jackets or polartec running tights.
And suddenly I’m remembering that there are things I love about the fall, too.
Now some of you might be out there experiencing a summer so endless that it’s just TOO MUCH. And that’s cool. Because the very last thing I want to do is say that’s not a real feeling. Being hot and done with that is absolutely a thing. So maybe flip what I’m thinking on its head, and instead give yourself a touchtone back to things you love about your current season.
A few weeks ago I talked about letting summer go by focusing on the gratitude I feel for what it gave me. And now I’m thinking about opening my arms to a new season by focusing on the hope of what I believe it will bring. And part of that is simply taking the time for two steps.
The first is a thought exercise. What have I enjoyed about fall before? Over the past few years Ive learned that autumn isn’t always the ideal I want it to be, thanks to major running injuries in 2018 and 2020, respectively. In 2019 it wasn’t what I imagined because work and school commitments had me traveling out of state quite a bit. Last year the weather got cold fast — by early October we were skiing — and again, my visions of the perfect fall were foiled again.
Which is why my thought exercise now is in considering this new season only through the lens of the only thing I can control: my attitude towards change. Because one thing thing fall teaches at least here is that things are definitely changing, and fast. Am I willing to welcome that change? Am I OK with letting go of control?
The second is an exercise in action. The rapid changes of fall paired with busy life stuff that always happens this time of year — new school schedules, kid fall sports commitments, work projects — — do not allow for me to do anything quote unquote later. If I want something to happen, it has to happen now. I have to be more intentional in the fall than at any time of year with making the time in my schedule to go out and experience nature. And because it’s cooler and wetter than I’d really like, I have to remember to push myself for this and that I WANT to get out there. I WANT to experience what’s outside. I WANT to take a beat, sit on my porch, watch the leaves, find my hat and a blanket and maybe even some mittens and do the thing no matter what.
Intention and action.
One of the reasons fall is so busy for me is that it’s new Human Outside season release time. On September 8 I released the first episode in Season 6 and I really can’t wait for you to hear all of these. So here’s a preview of just some of what I’ve got coming between now and then end of November.
The first episode, which you can already hear, is with Dr. Cassie Holmes. I’ve been talking in this diary entry about intention and action, but what those are fundamentally are setting aside time for and then doing things that make me happy. And the practicalities of making that happen are what Cassie and her research are all about. She’s a happiness expert who just released a new book, Happier Hour, that gives a guide for making time for the things that bring you joy. I loved talking to her.
Coming this week I’m bringing you a discussion with Lori Halliday, a congruency coach who talks about how heading outside can give us a pathway to leading more authentic lives. And over the next several weeks you’ll hear from disability advocate Ira Edwards, toughness and human performance expert Steve Magness, Alaska indigenous culture expert Aaron Leggett, Melody Warnick, an author and expert in choosing where to live to fit your personal priorities, Laura Vanderkam, time management expert and author of the upcoming book Tranquility by Tuesday, Chelsey Luger and Thosh Collins, native culture advocates who teach on using indegenous traditions to create wellness, Nicole Snell, an expert in outdoor safety who works with women recreating solo.
And of course that’s not all. I don’t want you to miss any of the really life changing stuff these folks are teaching, so I hope you take the time to listen to them. New episodes are released every Thursday over the whole season.
You can see photos daily of what I’ve been up to outside, and I want to see your adventures, too. Find mine on HumansOutside on Facebook and Instagram. And share yours with #humansoutside365.
Until next time, we’ll see you out there.