Autumn is actually my favourite season. I just love the colours. Especially at the start of the season, when parts of the trees just burst into different colours.
I was also lucky enough to be in the US during the fall. I tasted almost everything pumpkin flavoured that I came across. At one stage I think I almost turned into a Pumpkin Spice Latte, I had that many! One of the best things was pumpkin pie, I got a takeaway slice at a restaurant the night before Thanksgiving. I ate it for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning.
On that trip, I was also fortunate enough to visit New York City. Strolling through Central Park on a crisp day is something I will never forget. One of the photos that I took there is still my personal Facebook cover photo.
As the weather gets cooler, different clothes come out of hiding. I start wearing socks to bed and sleep under an extra blanket. We often start using the heater in the house again. I also use heat packs or hot water bottles to warm up my toes if they need it. Autumn also means my scarves come out from their hiding place. My favourite scarf is a large grey pashmina, grey goes with absolutely everything.
The mornings are foggy and sometimes the day remains misty. The dew that gathers on the plants amazes me, sometimes it hangs suspended in time. I’ve also recently enjoyed planting winter crops in my garden. I had tremendous success with peas last year, so I have planted them again this year. There is something about the shape of the leaves and flowers of the peas that I love.
What are your autumn favourites?
Working in the accounting industry for 9 years, I learned really quickly when the busiest time of the year is. No one dared apply for leave during the month of July. I had to learn how to survive a season of chaos, and fast.
Here are a few things I do to keep myself sane outside of work hours during those busy times.
I know how difficult it can be to exercise regularly. It’s also probably one of the first things to go when things get stressful. Just keep it simple, go for a walk in the fresh air or float around in the local swimming pool.
But it becomes even more crucial during times of stress. I’m sure you’ve heard all about endorphins, and how the can boost your mood. Exercise is one of the ways to release endorphins.
Mindfulness is not for everyone. I really struggled with it when I started. But I stuck with it and now it is much easier. I use an app called Smiling Mind, which offers guided meditations. These guided meditations walk you through exercises that you can use at any time.
It is crucial to find something that you can do to really relax. For me, I like to take a bath. I light some candles and settle into a hot bath, often with a bath bomb. Sometime I will listen to a podcast or audiobook, other times I will just listen to the sounds of the house.
My husband likes to fly his drone. I suppose it’s because he has to really focus on what he is doing, blocking out everything else.
Find someone that you can team up with to share the load of house chores and cooking. It great to know that you have someone in your life that you can rely on. Even if someone can help you with just one task, its one less thing for you to worry about.
There are many ways that you can meal plan. You can plan before you shop, taking advantage of the sales. You can go through your pantry, fridge, and freezer, using what you have. Setting up a meal plan can take the guesswork out of dinner. For me, I usually work a week at a time but I have also planned based on the meats we have available. Don’t overlook simple meals like baked beans on toast, while not entirely nutritious, it is filling and also very affordable.
Make time for friends and family when things get tough. The support from loved ones can really make a difference. They can also help you out with all of the above.
What do you do to survive a season of chaos?
A short weekend getaway is so important, it can do wonders for the mind, body & soul. I’m lucky enough to have family living on a farm in the country, about 3 hours drive from where I live. It’s far enough away that it can feel like a holiday yet close enough that it’s still worthwhile to just stay for one night.
A different environment can make a world of difference to my mood, especially the really fresh air you only come across in the country. I often don’t realise how polluted the air is in the suburbs. When I was a kid my asthma would clear up after just a few days at the farm. And the stars! You can see so many more stars on clear night in the country.
There is so much to do on a farm that there isn’t much time to check your phone. When there is a moment spare we often sit in the lounge room reading magazines or books. This time I read a magazine from 1996, oh how times have changed! The television is only generally on to see the weather forecast.
I had the chance to rediscover childhood memories I have from the farm. IT was great to share these memories with my husband & reminisce with my Nan. When I was about 6 years old it snowed enough for us to make snowmen & throw snowballs.
Even without the household chores there is still so much to do, I am certainly out of my comfort zone. There are animals to feed, gardens to explore & people to visit. Each day is jam packed, I am exhausted by dinner time & I always sleep well.
Being out of my comfort zone allows me to look at things with a fresh perspective when I return home. Sometimes you realised the things you worry about aren’t so important any more, or that the worry they cause aren’t worth your precious time. Some time away also allows me to approach obstacles from a different angle, or helps me build on other ideas.
It’s much easier to relax when staying with relatives that enjoy having company. My Nan is 89 years old but insists I relax while she does everything. Occasionally she will put me to work if I persist in trying to help. Because of her age, she insists on many meals throughout the day. We have breakfast, morning tea, lunch often with dessert, afternoon tea, dinner with dessert, then supper.
While the trip home can be tiring, the amazing week that follows a getaway is always well worth it.
The last twelve months have been the year of change. Twelve months is a long time, but then again it isn’t. I know my life has changed dramatically in that time. I quit my job after 9 years. My experience with postnatal depression is now behind me. Our little family went on an interstate holiday for the first time since 2010. And I shouldn’t forget that I turned 30, gracefully.
About halfway through my pregnancy, I decided that I wanted to quit my job. I loved the work, I had variety every day with what I did and who I worked with. But I just wasn’t satisfied. I wanted more. I wanted more responsibility, more recognition for my achievements, and of course more money for said achievements.
I had my daughter almost 18 months ago but started experiencing something in the first few weeks. I feel everything got a lot better around the time of her first birthday. While still being breastfed, she was much less reliant on me, which meant I had a bit more time to myself.
Over the new year, we drove 803km from our home on the peninsula to Adelaide. We spent a week exploring. We visited Harndorf to sample pastries, chocolates, and fudge. A spot of shopping in Rundall Mall. Lunch at Carl’s Jnr, twice because we liked it so much. A day at Middleton beach via the very busy Port Elliot bakery. Then we rung in the new year watching the fireworks at Glenelg pier.
I’m not one to a make a fuss over birthdays kind of person. But I got precisely what I wanted for my birthday. My husband made me breakfast, we went out for lunch, then my husband made silverside for dinner. My present wasn’t that flashy either, but it was exactly what I asked for. For my 30th birthday, I got a 2000L water tank.
The French version of the above quote was written in one of my school diaries. I loved the way it sounded: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.