Fourteen Simple Indulgences for Autumn by Susie Michelle Cortright
As the kids go back to school, you can go back to you: your schedule, your friends, your goals. Here are fourteen simple indulgences to celebrate this season.
1. Grab a friend and set out for a brisk autumn hike in the prettiest area you can think of within a few minutes of your home. On your walk, make an agreement with your friend to neither gossip nor complain. See what new conversations arise under these guidelines.
2. Invite your girlfriends over for a Back to School tea. Have lots of "pamper me" items in hand. Do you (or any of your friends) know a massage therapist? Ask her to come and do backrubs. Eat decadent pastries and drink coffee or tea. Catch up on everything you may have missed during the hectic summer.
3. Start a circle journal to keep in touch with your friends. A circle journal (aka. "a round robin") is a book that goes back and forth among friends, each of whom adds a special contribution before passing it on. You can use a simple notebook and ask each contributor to add her favorite photos to a collage on the cover.
4. Treat yourself to a new magazine subscription.
5. Buy three copies of your favorite novel. Give one copy to your best friend, one to your mother, and one to your mother in law. You will trigger an interesting book discussion (or an enriching tradition of book swapping).
6. Invite over your neighbors for a steaming cup of hot mulled cider.
7. Take out a simple piece of paper and tell a relative whom you do not expect to see during Thanksgiving all the reasons that you are grateful for him or her. Mail it.
8. Bring the warmth of the coming season to your dining room table with a fall bouquet of fresh flowers. Choose an arrangement with vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange.
9. What are you most passionate about? Start a home business that somehow relates to this passion. Autumn is a great time of year to get a business started. The kids are back in school and the hustle of the holidays has not yet begun.
10. Find a book club to join, or start one of your own.
11. Make a quick mini photo album of your most treasured summer photographs.
12. Choose a charity that you and your family will support this season. Researching the charity will be a fun family activity, and then you can brainstorm all the ways you can raise money for this organization.
13. Know a good soup restaurant? Order takeout tonight. Make sure to include fresh bread!
14. Challenge yourself to offer a sincere compliment to each person you speak with today. Work on weaving the kind words into each conversation. Such a habit will transfer a feeling of goodwill to everyone around you, and it may help you overcome shyness. After all, now you always have something to say!
Now make up your own simple indulgences and bring the magic of the season to your every day.