To Health and happiness-with humor and food

Fall Why it brings me happiness

Fall might be my favorite season because I think it best embraces new beginnings. When I think of fall, the first thing that comes to mind is rain. I love the first rain; it feels like it washes the world clean and gives it a fresh start.

Every storm after just washes a bit more grime away that has built up over the year-literally and metaphorically.

Personally, it brings tranquillity to my soul listening to thunderstorms and I don't really know why. Maybe it is due to the fact that I know the storm is outside and I am safe inside or because this storm too shall pass. But honestly, the most influential thing is I have always been drawn and calmed by water; it is so counterintuitive for a storm to be calming to my being that it just enhances the pure beauty.

Fall also has the inherent beauty of the leaves changing and crispness in the air; this makes it the perfect time to cook a warm soup or drink hot tea while cozied up by a fire, under a blanket, and/or reading a book.

This works well with how the available foods are changing, too. The fall vegetables bring new and sometimes hearty additions to various fresh dishes I can cook. I love the variety of vegetables that fall has to offer since summer can be more dominated by fruit, which sadly I don't eat.

Fall plays into my strengths and weakness-my ebb and flow. I think that the shortening of the days and the mixture of weather plays well with my personal health. It just feels like the world is slowing down a little and I like that. In the summer, it won't get dark until 10 pm and winter its dark before 5 pm-neither play well with my chronic illness. 

I love to do things outdoors but if it is too warm or too cold, my body will not be a happy camper. I also am very sensitive to the sun, poor air qualities, humidity, and so on which makes the outdoors sometimes difficult. The fall can be as spontaneous and erratic as my body and it is sometimes nice to have plans canceled because of the weather instead of my health.

It also means people are getting ready for the winter and starting to do indoor activities again, which I sometimes prefer. It is easier to have the weather influence activities sometimes. I feel bad cooping people inside for activities or declining activities when I am not feeling up to it because friends want to do outdoor activities -especially in spring and summer when the weather is so nice.

For me, it is sometimes easier to just have a night in because it causes less stress and anxiety but there is a sadness that comes along with it. It makes me feel like I am not in control of my life or that I am "letting my conditions win" which I know isn't true. Fall gives me the opportunity to stay in and have a cup of tea or play a board game and people don't question or I can go out to a festival, depending on how I feel-how the weather feels.

I guess you could call fall my spirit season... if that wasn't weird...

It has been hard for me to accept how much health influences my life. In the beginning, it was very easy for me to trick myself that I could compartmentalize my health and be "normal". I wanted to be more than my health and that I didn't have to be "lesser" just because I had health conditions.

None of what I used to think was correct.

I am not a lesser human being because I cannot run or walk up stairs sometimes. Having health conditions does not make me abnormal and I shouldn't be ashamed of them or how they influence my life. I cannot compartmentalize my health from the rest of my life; it is part of who I am. 

This does not mean that my health defines me or who I am...sometimes this feels like a fine balancing act, like many things in my life.

With my health being less than optimal, I have learned to take a step back and smell the roses-whether I want to or not. That helped me to learn to truly enjoy the things I am passionate about. I love going to a farmer's market and checking out the vegetables of the season. I also love making a cup of tea and painting.

Being able to truly enjoy these things is what I strive for.

Fall seems to be the easiest time for me to achieve this. It rejuvenates my views and makes me reflect on what is important and what should be washed away with the rain. There have been points where I didn't know if I could handle one more medical heartbreak...but the rain came and I knew this meant my annual pneumonia wasn't far off, and in the end, I was going to be ok.

If you suffer from chronic conditions or not, I think that everyone should have at least one day like this every once in a while. Have a whole season! Life is too precious to not be appreciated to its fullest and sometimes we all can get caught up in our lives to remember that. 

And remember, if you are having a bad day, month, or whatever...think of something that makes you happy that you can do today. For me, right now, I remember that fall means I get to wear all of my favorite sweaters and scarves my friends have made me. Who can argue with that? That is enough to remind me that I can get through this; I have gotten through worse. 

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