Fall to Winter Transition

It continues to be a challenge for me to think about seasonal changes here in Florida.  Even in December, I am in shorts and flip-flops most days with high temperatures in the 80s (in F, that’s mid 20’s C).  I’m not wearing Christmas sweaters; I’m buying Christmas T-shirts!

This year I shifted focus to seasonal Possibilities Lists instead of seasonal Buckets Lists or seasonal Actions Plans.  (See here for link to blog post about why now called possibilities list.) This shift in mindset allowed me to keep in my planning mode seasonal activities I don’t want to miss, but not feel guilty for not completing everything.  I also left space for new possibilities. 

Looking back on my Fall Possibilities I noted I had lots of Fun Tribe event planning to do as well as continuing the normal living “stuff” which were called out with alliteration as classes, clubs, connects, and crafts.  In addition to the original 70 ideas on my Fall Possibilities List, 15 additional things were added and executed!  Of course, there are a number of possibilities (20) that did not come to fruition.  Some of those ideas have been on the list now for a while and I really do need to determine why I do not seem able to make them happen!

Reminiscing on some of my favorite things this fall (reminiscing is an aspect that boosts happiness! See link here to my Positive Psychology Tenets):

  • Lots of artsy stuff – went to multiple arts & crafts fairs, did a downtown Artwalk, saw multiple live theater productions, and went to the new local magic show, which was delightful.  I did a lot of crafting, including thrifting to find glass for up-cycling, running a fairy wand making workshop, and finishing the 144 wine bottles for the local wine festival centerpieces (they looked wonderful).
  • Fun with my Friends Tribe included the Cross Bay Ferry, the Florida Aquarium visit, a shuffleboard evening, a bowling afternoon, a Rowdies soccer game, a mural bike ride, an invite to a Friends-giving, and a number of eating out lunches /dinners.
  • My new planting beds are finally in, eBay selling of stuff is finally kicked off, and I finally did plan and execute a couple of daytime dates with hubby. All three of those things were on my possibilities lists for many seasons.
  • I worked the fall Garden Club plant sales and attended a number of crafting workshops.  I am definitely feeling a sense of belonging at the Garden Club events!
  • The unexpected planning for my mom’s move into a local assisted living facility did take some time – both physical time and mental mind-space.  Another time-intensive unexpected event was our mandatory hurricane evacuation, which while stressful, had a positive outcome (link here to that post).

Looking at my calendar right now is a good example of the “classes, clubs, connects, and crafts” – I’ve got beach yoga, zumba, cardio drumming classes, a gathering for the Christmas Light Boat Parade, my Garden Club holiday lunch, my book club holiday gathering,  a long-distance phone connect, follow-up on my mom’s upcoming move, a solstice Tarot card reading, and an evening of dinner and the theater.  I love how my weeks are full and aligned to my retirement lifestyle vision statement:

Active Body, Connected Heart, Creative Spirit, Contemplative Mind.

One thing remains a challenge, mainly as it’s not my to-do, but one I want to see done – both a Garage and an Office clean out and organize. These spaces are really my hubby’s domains, both still have unpacked boxes in them, and in both it is hard to find anything (no organization).  I’m wondering if my marriage would survive me just taking over the organization of these spaces!

My next step is to create my Winter Possibilities List.  Once again, I do not think I’m going to do a WOTY (word of the year) as these seasonal lists seem to be working for me.

Do you create any seasonal plans?  How often do you take the time to reminisce on the fun things you’ve done?

Picture Credit – Christmas lights!

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12 thoughts on “Fall to Winter Transition

  1. Hi Pat, I’m not much of a list maker (although I’ve tried to fit in that category my whole life!) however I really like the idea of a seasonal possibilities list! It’s a shorter time frame and would probably work better for my inner ‘instant gratification’ monster. I’m in Myrtle Beach and we usually have very mild ‘winters’ but this week we’re getting a cold blast from the north…yuck!! I don’t have a lot of cold weather clothing so I guess I’ll be indoors until we get back into the 50’s!! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

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    1. Sharon, we got the cold even down here. Brrr. I’ve pulled out wool socks, polar-tec tops, and fuzzy throws… and am liking it (for a bit). We will be back into the 70’s in a week… which hubby will be happy about. Only a week of true winter! But my winter possibilities include the 50-60 degree days, so museum visits, gardening, reading, and pots of chili and soup. Happy new year to you!

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  2. Thanks, Pat! I appreciate the reminder to not just look at whether or not I met my general goals for the year, but to review the activities and the fun things that happened when I do my year end review.

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    1. I’ve shifted less to hitting the number and more to looking at what the numbers actually are…and that has really helped me be happier! I track now not for the sake of getting to 101 new experience, but for the doing of new experiences. A mindset shift – making to more about engagement not achievement.

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  3. I’ve never lived where it snowed so I’m used to sunny Christmases (although it’s a bit too chilly for shorts and t-shirts right now). I wonder if you miss the snow at all?

    December is a great time to look back at the year and plan for the one ahead. One of my rituals is to go through this year’s paper calendar (where I have jotted down just about every appointment, trip, get-together, etc.) and add notes and things I need to remember to next year’s. I’m always surprised at how much we did.

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    1. Janis, I do miss the cooler weather, change of seasons, and snow just a bit. We got a huge cold front this week and I’m enjoying wrapping up in a soft throw to read a book, pulling on wool socks, and even wore my winter coat the other evening. (Yes, I still have it. ) But we will be back up to high 70’s by early next week. Winter in a flash, no snow.

      I also do an end of the year look back and yes, was surprised at how much we did! It made my heart happy.

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  4. I keep track of our expenses in Quicken and it’s fun for me to reminisce as I enter in each credit card receipt after a trip or fun time. A small thing but enjoyable. I’ve given up on a WOTY, mostly because I don’t seem driven by that. I have small lists of things I want to accomplish; some with timelines and others where timing doesn’t matter. Otherwise, I pretty much take each day as it comes, knowing there will be surprises along the way.

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    1. I also put expenses into Quicken and agree it’s a small enjoyment to recall things as I type them in. I am doing a longer year-end review as well. You know I love my lists! But I agree – it lovely to know there will be surprises along the way…. and to be open to them. Happy New Year to you!

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  5. Hi Pat, sounds like you are leaving no stone unturned! This is the time of year when I wrap up our annual photo book, which offers an opportunity to reminisce past experiences. That always makes me smile. I love that you challenge yourself to do new things and stay busy with activities. Retirement is indeed the best time of life. P.S. you are going to need a sweater this weekend!! Merry Christmas

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    1. What a fun idea – an annual photo book. I am doing a year-end-review (probably publish it mid-week – an off day post for me!) which is more my normal – words, not pictures! And yes, I did indeed pull out sweaters and wool socks. Brrr!

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  6. Hi Pat – welcome to the world of Christmas tee shirts – that’s the only type of Christmas outfits we wear in Australia! Good luck with your winter plans and I’m glad you got so much included into your Autumn to look back on. I don’t do bucket lists but I do do Word of the Year – mine will be up at the beginning of January. Happy Christmas from down under xx

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    1. Happy Boxing Day. Well, we ended up getting a cold front and I pulled out woolen socks and sweaters! Coldest Christmas in over 30 years here. I’m looking forward to hearing about everyone’s WOTYs! I’ve found mine helpful before, but not feeling the pull for one this year.

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