For Me, Fall Begins September 1st!

Oh, it’s happening!  I’ve made the official proclamation in my house that fall begins on September 1st this year.  Usually I wait until the temperatures are lower, fall decor is everywhere, or at least until after the first Razorback football game.  But this year?  I’m taking charge.  I need a change.  And so, I’m putting Harvest Blend essential oil in my diffuser, drawing a pumpkin on the chalkboard, and getting the show on the road.  It all started when my Country Living magazine arrived in the mail this weekend, and I became somewhat giddy at the sight of pumpkins and “Creativity” splashed across the cover.

Country Living Cover

And, like a bear coming out of hibernation, I saw the light . . . my answer.  Fall is my absolute favorite season, and since it’s almost here, why not just hurry it along a bit!  So, to get up-to-speed, let’s start our fall education, shall we?  Perfect for back-to-school I think!  How about a little game of “Did you know . . .” to get the party started!

  1. Did you know that it takes 36 apples on average to create a gallon of cider?
  2. Did you know that 90% of pumpkins grown in the US are raised within a 90-mile radius of Peoria, Illinois?
  3. Did you know that the tradition of carving pumpkins originated in Ireland? The Irish would carve jack-o-lanterns out of turnips to scare evil spirits during the Celtic holiday, Samhain, the night when spirits of the dead would walk the earth.
  4. Did you know that autumn babies, or those born between September and November, are more likely to live to 100 than those who were born in other times of the year?
  5. Did you know that each fall, the Black-capped Chickadee’s tiny hippocampus enlarges by 30%, which enables it to remember where it collected seeds in different spots in trees and on the ground?
  6. Did you know that while Americans typically use the word “fall,” the British use the word “autumn,” though both terms date from around the 16th Century?  Before these terms, the period was called “harvest.”
  7. Did you know the word “harvest” comes from the Old Norse word “haust,” which means “to gather or pluck”?  As people moved to the cities, “harvest” fell out of use and the city dwellers began to use “fall of the leaf,” which was shortened to “fall.”
  8. Did you know that while heart attacks and car accidents increase after the start of daylight savings time in the spring, that the opposite is true for the end of it in the fall?  Heart attacks and accidents decrease the Monday after daylight savings time ends.
  9. Did you know that a study in the journal Perception noted that men think women are more attractive in the cooler season?
  10. Did you know that according to superstition, catching leaves in autumn brings good luck?  Every leaf caught means a lucky month in the next year.
  11. Did you know that Americans consume about 600 million pounds of Hershey bars, lollipops, Milk Duds, Twizzlers and Clark bars as Halloween candy?
  12. AND, did you know that each autumn, monarch butterflies migrate from the US to Mexico and some parts of Southern California?  They fly at speeds ranging between 12 and 25 miles per hour.  Monarch butterflies are the only insect that migrates to a warmer climate which is 2500 miles away.

 

You’re Ready Right NOW!

Steal Like An Artist

I was perusing the Barnes & Noble website some months back, (a dangerous activity for me for sure!) when  I came upon a selection of books for writers and creatives.  And right then and there, I plummeted  down the rabbit hole!  I can certainly lose myself for a good long time reading titles, descriptions, reviews and the “those who purchased this also purchased this” recommendations.  In the end, of course, I ordered MORE books!

Oh, I love SO much when my order comes in the mail!  It reminds me of when, as a kid, I used to get to order books from the Scholastic something or other at school.  I’d bring home the little catalog and I’d get to pick a few books.  When they arrived, I was SO excited.  Very similar to now when my Barnes & Noble order is on my porch when I get home from work!

So, one of the books I got is called Steal Like An Artist – 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon.  This little book is full of gems for the creative or wannabe creative.  On the list of the 10 Things, #2 is: Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.  This really got my attention.  I have waited on things.  True confessions.  I have tried for years to decide who I am.  Am I a writer?  Am I an artist?  Am I a crafter?  Am I a graphic designer?  Am I a farmer?  The answer?  YES!  I’m all of those.  The revelation from this tome?  I don’t have to wait to find out who I am.  I just have to DO.

Here’s a little excerpt from this book.  Let me remind you, this doesn’t just apply to artists, writers, creative sorts.  This applies to e v e r y o n e.  Making and Doing are one in the same if you think about creating your life – however that looks.  So here’s what Austin writes:

If I’d waited to know who I was or what I was about before I started “being creative,” well, I’d still be sitting around trying to figure myself out instead of making things.  In my experience, it’s in the act of making things and doing our work that we figure out who we are.

You might be scared to start.  That’s natural.  There’s this very real thing that runs rampant in educated people.  It’s called “impostor syndrome.”  The clinical definition is a “psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.”  It means that you feel like a phony, like you’re just winging it, that you really don’t have any idea what you’re doing.

Guess what:  None of us do.  Ask anybody doing truly creative work, and they’ll tell you the truth:  They don’t know where the good stuff comes from.  They just show up to do their thing.  Every day.

I’m always moved by ways people find out who they are.  I like this.  A lot.

Waking Up to a New Moon

New Moon Goals

As I am writing this post, it is a new moon.  I read yesterday that the time of a new moon is an especially good time to update your goals, set intentions and just start moving forward with doing some new things.  And, after I read that, I thought, How long has it been since I actually wrote down some goals?  Updated my vision board?  Just really considered what my dreams are for the future?   Well, I’ll tell you; it’s been a long freakin’ time!

Now, I don’t know if it’s “the corona” that has me off of my game, but I think it’s time to re-set.  And, apparently there is no better time for a re-set than on and around a new moon.  Makes perfect sense.

So, I got out one of my 50,000 journals I’ve bought over the years – OK, maybe I don’t have that many, but I buy multiples each year with the intention to write in them and never do, so I’ve accumulated a few for sure!  So, I got one out and started making a quick list off the top of my head of intentions I have for this fall.  I just decided to start there, because setting big sweeping long-range goals seemed very daunting.  I’m a bit out of practice.

Here’s basically what I wrote down:

  1. Start doing 30 minutes of dedicated exercise every day.  Now, I have a FitBit and try to walk more than 6000-7000 steps a day, but that’s just playing at exercise and I know it.  Time to set a goal and get serious.
  2. Make a weekly blog post. This one is so weird because I LOVE blogs and, of course, I have a blog.  I like to write and share with the world, but I haven’t made a new blog post (as you can see) in over a year.  OVER A YEAR!  What is up with that?
  3. Change my work schedule to have Tuesday afternoons off.  This is difficult, because I work full time.  And, changing my beliefs about that seems a bit scary to me.  I have put a lot of my worth onto my dedication to my work.  And, some of my feelings about that are changing.  I’ll start small on this one, because really it’s big beneath the surface of my life.
  4. Get the outside of our house painted. A new color.  A big change.  Painting the whole house black.  (It’s really going to ROCK!)
  5. Clean out our garage and shed and only save the things I love.  You can learn more about my new cleaning out philosophy by reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
  6. Get more serious about the book I’ve started writing by writing on it each week.   I’m starting with this once-a-week thing, because right now my writing is feast or famine.  I write and write and write for a couple of days, and then I don’t write for a month.  My short range goal is to work on it consistently – one afternoon a week.
  7. Rekindle my love of photography.  Take little photography journeys this Fall.  I have a new camera even!

So, these are my intentions.  I could burn a little sage tonight, light a candle and read them out loud if that helps – I’m certainly open to those new ideas as well.  Has it been a while since you put your intentions, goals and dreams down on paper?  It’s a new moon! It might be time!