While writing down my schedule for the upcoming month in my day planner, I went to write down the hours I’d be working on the 22nd, only to be faced with four tiny lil’ words: First Day Of Fall. Everything about good old autumn tends to excite people – cool weather, hot beverages, cute as heck clothing – all of that good stuff. Most of us love the season so much, in fact, that we’re quick to toss summer out the window and pretend it didn’t happen – which often means that we start splurging on an excessive amount of “It’s fucking fall now!” treats, like pumpkin coffee and apple cider donuts and ~chic~ new boots extra-early, and continue doing it well through late November (I’m looking at you, Black Friday.)
On the opposite side of the Fall-Is-Coming spectrum, your girl here isn’t ever too amped about the change of season this time of year. School starts (which is always highly stressful), autumn allergies kick in and make me a walking disaster, and cold weather is quite possibly my least favorite thing on planet earth. (Can you believe I’ve survived 22 years in Connecticut?)
The point is, I’d pretty much give one of my kidneys in exchange for making sweet, sweet summer last just a liiiiiittle bit longer. I have a hard time looking towards fall and feeling positive about what is to come. I’m feeling so bummed about it, in fact, that summer has seemed to stop dead in its tracks, along with all of the work I was doing during the season, and some of the goals I was working towards.
What is the problem with both of these attitudes? Thinking too much about how you loOoOoOoOove fall, (or how much you haAaAaAate it, in my case) is a really good way to distract yourself from, you know, the last few weeks of this season that we really need to take advantage of. We start the summer with so many plans and #goals, but come August, we’re so focused on looking forward that we don’t even take a second to reflect on what has happened, what we’ve done, or what we’ve accomplished. In the interest of taking a gentle pause and trying to enjoy the last few weeks before shit gets chilly and people start putting canned pumpkin in literally every baked good ever, here are my tips on how to reset, reevaluate, and make the most out of the tail end of summer.
1. Plan a few summer-specific activities.
But make them cheap ones. Because you were probably so damn amped about #margaritas #on #the #patio in May that you blew a lot of your ~summer fun~ budget getting your drank on in the great outdoors.
But planning a few special, budget-friendly activities that can really only be accomplished during the summertime (like going swimming at the beach one last time, or going out for ice cream while wearing a sundress) is a good way to get yourself excited about the season again as if it is just starting. It is also a good way to prevent yourself from falling into a sad slump of dreading school or cold weather or whatever else Fall has in store that you might not like, or getting so amped that you wear out all of your cable-knits within the first weeks of September.
2. Check on the goals you set at the beginning of the summer.
Maybe you didn’t write down a specific goal (I did – I wanted to save $1000, and I wanted to write every day – and I accomplished both!) but even if you didn’t, you probably had some vague idea of shit you wanted to get done this summer. Maybe you wanted to hike a certain mountain nearby, or have a beach day with your friends, or start saving some money for a weekend trip. If you didn’t do it, there is still time! If you did, maybe see what other goal you can set and accomplish before the warm weather goes away for a million dark months (like it does here in New England. Womp womp.)
3. Get a head-start on next season’s goals.
I knew I had summer savings goals to accomplish, but I also have been lightly thinking about how to plan my fall/early winter savings goals. As a student, I tend to break my savings goals down by semester: a certain amount by the end of the fall semester, a certain amount by the end of the spring semester, and a certain amount over the summer. Since I accomplished my summer savings goal early, and I knew what I wanted my fall savings goal to be (roughly $1,000 extra in my savings account by December), I was able to get a head-start on meeting the fall goal. After really analyzing the goal, figuring what type of savings strategies I will be using, and looking at what I’ve already been able to accomplish towards it, I realized that I actually think I want to raise the amount of my goal up closer to $3,000. I’m not sure exactly how manageable this will be, but I’m definitely excited to start planning and see where I can cut corners and make extra money to accomplish this new, exciting goal! It is making me look forward to the upcoming season and all the work I’ll be doing to accomplish something I know I’ll feel proud of in the end.
4. Take advantage of the extra daylight.
For me, the actual worst part of summer ending is when we change the clocks and start living in the terrible world where it gets dark out at like, 5:00. Losing the night-time hours of daylight makes me feel like I’m losing some of the most productive hours of my day. When it gets dark at five, I pretty much feel like my day ends at five – both personally, and professionally. I have a much harder time convincing myself to go out and ~enjoy life~ when life is dark before dinnertime. I also have a hard time convincing myself to sit down at my desk and get extra work done in evening hours because the darkness makes me feel extra sleepy, and a little bummed out. Since I’m such a daylight person, I live for the long summer days where I feel like I’m able to get shit done from 6:00am to 9:00pm, and still feel energized enough to have some sort of after-hours social life on the side. My best advice before shit gets grim is to take extra advantage of these long, warm days. Go for a night-time contemplative walk or run, run extra errands in the evening that you didn’t get to during the day, and just enjoy the fact that you’ve been given the gift of time and daylight. (Temporarily. Sort of.)
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