Did you see the fantastic Cincinnati Fall Bucket List over here: Fall Bucket List? I am sure my family will be enjoying some of that fun, as well as some good ol’ apple picking and jumping in leaf piles. Even so, I am a little more excited about my personal Fall To Do list.
To be honest, I’ve been feeling a little off lately, a little like it’s all kid stuff and no me stuff. I know, I’m a mom. That is how it should be. But not ALL the time. It’s time for a little adjustment. Time for me to have a little more me time. To make it happen, I’ve made a list of things I want to do this fall just for me. I hope you will add some of these to your to do list too, unless you already do them. In that case, congratulations. I aspire to be more like you.
1. Start a new hobby. On our visit to the beach this summer, I biked all over town. We also kayaked down a river and met some dolphins. I loved both so much that I am going figure out how to do some biking and kayaking here at home too. I know I’m not likely to run into any dolphins, but some solitude and exercise in the fresh air will be almost as good.
2. Follow my passion. Other than my children, travel is probably my greatest joy. Just because I’m not going to be using my passport this fall doesn’t mean I can’t discover a new place. It’s time to get out the map and pick a city within a reasonable drive that I haven’t visited yet. I’m open to suggestions. Tell me your favorites!
3. Invest in myself. When you hear “stay-at-home homeschooling mom blogger,” you probably don’t think “fashionista.” That’s fair. I’m no fashionista, but I love clothes. This time last year, I was updating my wardrobe for two weeks in London. Oh, what fun! Needless to say, this fall is a bit of a let down. Plus, I have no excuse for pretty new clothes. But why do I need an excuse? I hereby give myself permission to spend time and money finding one stylish new outfit for my fall wardrobe. Including shoes. Even if those shoes are fancy, impractical boots.
4. Accomplish a goal. I will be working on a major decluttering of our basement (and maybe a closet or two as well). Last week, I cleared out seven boxes of books, teaching materials, and homeschool curriculum from our basement. I barely made a dent in the clutter down there, but it felt sooooo good–so good that I’m going to keep going. It might take all of fall (maybe more), but it’s way overdue. Plus, that feeling of accomplishment (and relief) is totally worth it.
5. Renew an interest. For me, this means finding a few really good books to read. When did I stop reading books? Perhaps part of it was when we started homeschooling, and I was reading all the books all three kids were using for school. Perhaps it was when my 40-something eyes started to give me headaches after 20 minutes of focusing. Perhaps it was when I started five books in a row only to put them down after the first chapter because they were awful. Probably all of the above. None of that changes the fact that I love reading. I put a ton of time and effort into finding quality literature that interests my kids; why don’t I do the same for myself? It’s time to start.
6. Reconnect. Plan that dinner party I’ve been meaning to have for….like, 4 years. Our bathroom needs remodeling and our kids have too much junk and our house isn’t really big enough for a crowd. Blah…blah…blah. I’m fairly sure most of our friends don’t care. If they do, here’s their warning: when you get my invitation, politely respond that you have a previous engagement. Otherwise, come on over and have some tacos.
7. Disconnect. A night away. Alone. There—I wrote it down where all of you can see it so I’m committed, right? I’ve been trying to convince myself to go on a solo vacation for a while, but there always seems to be too many things on the calendar, too many higher priorities in the budget, and no volunteers to take care of three kids. (Imagine that!) But I can manage one night, can’t I? Yep. I think so. That’s where I’m going to start. ONE night away. Alone.
Back-to-school is the time kids can press restart on their year or even create a whole new version of themselves if they want to. Why can’t we do the same? There’s no need to wait until January. Fall is full of opportunities for new beginnings.