Perspectives on …The Autumn of My Life

fall

“Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?”

Autumn is, hands-down, my favorite time of year. I always welcome the official first day of Autumn (Autumnal equinox) with joy! As a leisure practitioner working 35 frenetic summers planning everyone else’s leisure time, Fall has become the time to rest, relax and reflect. The song, “Wake Me Up When September Ends” (Green Day), always played through my mind in the last few years. Although my instinct is to nest and relax, teaching as a part-time lecturer in a university can be frenetic as students jump back into campus life.

 

I live in the central valley of Northern California and Fall is very spectacular because of the abundance of deciduous trees. The start to Autumn this year had been odd. California is suffering through the worst drought in over 30 years. In efforts to reduce water use, one city’s slogan is “gold is the new green” referring to once lush, green lawns, now golden and dry. To make matters worse, we had a long, hot summer with temperatures averaging  in the low 90s. As I write this blog today, it is 86 degrees outside at 3:30pm! A warm start to the first day of Autumn!

GoldGreen

Because of the drought, the trees are already going into their dormant phase, already dropping leaves and fall is very early. A normal Autumn here peaks around mid-November. Usually this peak brings in much cooler temperatures (I’m tired of my flip-flops already!) and the motivation to seek out pumpkin spice lattes is high! So I am hopeful that our cooler weather kicks in quickly. I will be ready for a fire in the fireplace!

leaves

I always look forward to the Fall, and now that I am in my mid-50s, I realize that I am in the (early) Autumn of my life, assuming I live til I am 90 😉 With this realization, and the wisdom that comes with age (or is supposed to), I feel of a sense of peace overall with my life and my choices. Soon I shall retire from a wonderful career in public leisure service. While the idea of retirement can invoke fear in many Baby Boomers, I am embracing the conclusion to this long chapter of my life and ready to start writing a new chapter, in the Autumn of my life!

 

 

11 thoughts on “Perspectives on …The Autumn of My Life

  1. This is a beautiful post. I love fall, even though we have a really short fall season in Calgary.
    The colours are gorgeous and I too get excited about Pumpkin Spiced Lattes!
    Well done!

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  2. Very nice post! The embedded YouTube video worked good, and I like Green Day and that song too. I appreciate your observations about the autumn of nature as well as our lives. Getting a pumpkin spice latte sounds like a good way to kick it off.

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  3. I also love Autumn. The blazing reds and orange of falling leaves dancing on the wind. The cooling temperatures are a relief from summer heat. Like you I am mid-50. I love the reference to the autumn of our life. I feel it too. Very nicely written.

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  4. This is a great posting, however living in SW Florida after years of living in the Northeast and Midwest, raking leaves for 3-4 months I really don’t miss the beauty of that time of my life.

    I will always have beautiful memories of those days and only relish in the photos of autumn for now.

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  5. Hi There. This is a beautiful post. You’ve got a great voice and I look forward to reading you in the future. Keep writing!

    Best,

    Ashley

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  6. I do love the colors of autumn here in Southcentral Ontario Canada. The bright colors are spectacular. We have hit minus temperatures here already. The central heat has been on a few times. Temperatures in my part of the world can vary drastically from one day to the next and from week to week. Two days ago I could see my breath outside. Today, it again feels like spring. I am also in my early 50’s and thinking more of retiring although my kids are younger and I have yet a few years to go to help them out their first few years in post secondary education. I very much enjoyed your post and could relate to a lot of it. Hope the drought is not a permanent feature of your end of the world. California is on my list of must see places!

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