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The Happiness Project: October is Fall & Winter Prep Month

Sunday, October 2, 2011

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The Happiness Project: October is Fall & Winter Prep Month | Faith Permeating Life

It's the beginning of a new month! Can you believe there are only 3 months left in 2011?

I didn't do that well with my first-half-of-the-year goals in September. I forgot to bring things to work a couple times, I injured myself and couldn't work out for a week, and Mike and I only prayed together a handful of nights. I'm determined to do better this month!

One goal I did fairly well with was sending an e-mail to a friend every day. I received several long updates in reply from friends who I hadn't talked to in a while, and I've received more requests to get together for lunch this month than I have money for! It's made me feel incredibly connected, like I've got a big network of friends even if they don't all live nearby.

September was devoted to parenting discussions with Mike, which I recapped in my last post.

So, on to October!

I wrote previously about how I dread this time of year because I'm freezing all the time, particularly at work, and you guys responded in droves with great suggestions about staying warm.

I decided that the best thing I can do for my happiness this month is to help myself enjoy fall and look forward to winter more.

Here's my plan:
  • Make lists of good things about fall and winter. I put out a question on Twitter and Facebook asking people to tell me their favorite things about fall and winter, and I've started compiling lists of what I'm looking forward to in fall and winter.
  • Act on the lists. A lot of the things I enjoy about these seasons are very simple, like hot apple cider and hot chocolate. Since I'm already drinking tea all the time at work, I should get myself some instant packets of these other drinks. Another thing I like is seasonal decorations -- maybe I'll get a tiny pumpkin for my desk to make me smile!
  • Learn to layer. I have pretty much no fashion sense. When I was going to start teaching in grad school, I took a friend to the mall with me and had her help me create a business casual wardrobe pretty much from scratch, and I haven't branched out since then. For three years my primary work wardrobe has been a sweater over a button-down (3/4 sleeve-length), with dress pants. This isn't quite warm enough for my office in the winter, but if I put a long-sleeved T-shirt or other layer under the button-down, I can't take off the sweater if I get too hot because it looks stupid. Moral of the story: I need to learn how to layer more effectively and then hit up the thrift store to buy some key pieces. (And ask for gift cards for Christmas!)

That's pretty much it, although I would love your suggestions about how I can feel more positive about the coming cold months. And please, share your favorite things about fall and winter in comments!


  1. Oh, I miss fall! Florida has a version of fall, which I still enjoy, but some of the things that I miss from living up north:

    - leaves changing color. I love the smell, the look, the smell of people burning leaves, swishing through small piles of leaves - most everything leaf-related. :)

    - walks @ twilight, when the weather's chilly but not cold & the sunsets always seem a bit prettier. Walking provides enough heat to make up for the cool weather, and it's great to come in for cocoa with a cold nose to warm up.

    - sitting in the sun w/ a blanket, reading. The weather's got to cooperate on this one, but I'm not a fan of sun when it's hot out - cooler fall weather makes it work for me.

    - Scarves are pretty.

    - Ornaments! I'm not christian, but I *adore* christmas ornaments. I think they're gorgeous, and when I'm not lazy, I try to get a tree up early-ish.

    - Halloween! Costumes, kids jonesing for candy, carving jack-o-lanterns, etc.

    - fall colors. I love the oranges and browns.

    - pumpkin muffins. I know I can make them year-rond, but they seem better in the fall.

    Lastly, 1 layering tip - Vermont Country Store has some *great* 3/4 sleeve long underwear, and v-neck t-shirts (or cheapey t-shirts where you don't mind cutting and tweaking the neckline) are a better-than-nothing substitute.

  2. @alice
    Thanks for adding so many great things to my Fall list!! Even if there aren't a lot of autumn activities I'm looking forward to (because 1, I have no time and 2, I get cold so easily), just getting into the spirit--thinking about leaves, fall colors, and holidays--is helping to lift my mood.

    Thanks for the layering tip, also!

  3. My office was freezing this past winter, to the point where we quite frequently wore our coats inside!

    You could look into thermal singlet tops - you can get ones down here that are merino wool, so they're really warm - because it gives you an extra layer under a button-down shirt without feeling bulky. I also wore my scarf in the office pretty much every day.

    Course, it's probably a WEE bit colder where you are than my winter was!! ;)

  4. @Melbourne on my mind
    Yup, coats and scarves are pretty standard in my office in the winter. It sucks, but I love my job, so what can I do?

    Thanks for the tip about merino wool. I've gotten lots of suggestions for different warm things to wear under my clothes--I definitely need to go shopping soon and try some of them out! :)

  5. I like baking things in cold weather because it warms up the house, as well as producing warm food to eat then and warm up for leftovers. A meal like Honey Baked Lentils with sweet potatoes or squash is great on a weekend when I'm home to start baking an hour before dinner, or for Daniel to make on a weekday so that I come home to a warm house and a warm meal!

  6. @'Becca
    Food is probably the number one thing I like about this time of year--I love soups and casseroles and warm pie! I need to find a good way to have hot meals at work, since that's when I'm coldest; our apartment stays nice and warm because it's heated through hot water in the floor (and we don't have to pay for heat). But since I bring my lunch to work, it requires a bit more planning to have something warm.


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