Letting myself love fall

Lately, I have been struck by a physical need to be outside. I crave sunshine, so I’m usually the first out the door when spring strikes and I’ll put up with summer heat better than most, but I’ve reached a new level.

That’s because it’s just been so incredibly gorgeous here. Never have I more appreciated fall, and never have more I appreciated Missouri weather.

For the past two weeks, we’ve hit highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s, meaning I can wear shorts during the day, but it’s nice and cool at night. The humidity finally decided to leave us, the air has taken on that crispness everyone loves, and the sky somehow seems bluer.

I know that many people love fall more than any other season, but for me, because I hate winter so much, fall has always just felt like bad foreshadowing. I don’t care if it’s finally not in the 80s; that means we’re that much closer to it being in the 20s. Plus, let’s be honest, Chicago doesn’t get fall; it gets 80s followed by 40s with maybe two weeks of confusion in between.

This I can’t help but love it. As much as I’m scared for the impending temperature crash that will bring winter with no warning, I am soaking up this season. I take my textbooks and read in the yard. I take my lunch and eat at the playground (it’s just down the street :). I take my computer and work outside my office. Right now I’m typing while sitting on our porch bench (which is black and gold, I should add). I’m bordering on ridiculous, finding these ways to take my life outside, but hey, there’s an outlet on the outside of my house! How could I possibly let that pass? I’m seriously wondering why this hasn’t been my evening homework spot all semester.

This weather has also helped me in another big way: I am looking forward to my runs like I never have before. This might surprise some people because I almost always make myself do it, but for the majority of my “running life” I have dreaded running. A combination of tiredness, excessive sweating, hatred of treadmills, ankle pain and boredom made me cringe at the thought of what I do each morning.

But right now, I think, I’m in my best running shape ever. Granted, I’ve been training for a 10K, so that has helped, but I’ve been getting more sleep than in the past, feeling pain-free and running longer distances, and faster. I have a beautiful trail close to my house that inspires me every morning. When I start to get tired of what I’m doing, I look around and marvel at the beautiful morning surrounding me (I know that sounds so cheesy, but it’s true!).

And now, I have the fact that it’s cool and crisp — just barely bordering on cold — when I step out the door. At first this terrified me, but I’ve come to embrace it. I’m terrified of what I’m going to do when it’s dark when my alarm goes off or when it’s too cold for me to breathe comfortably, but right now it’s refreshing and energizing. Running feels easier when it’s 50 degrees. Plus, I don’t come back dripping. (It’s crazy what only six weeks will do.)

So there’s just one more reason for me to focus on living in the present and enjoying each day as it comes. I’m trying my absolute hardest to relish this fall, without worrying about what comes next.

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