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Autumn Reflections

Autumn is my favourite time of year.

I love everything about it. The colours, the smells, getting my jumpers and boots back out of storage and of course the food. There is nothing more comforting than a stew or warming ginger cake. This year has been no different. I have enjoyed weeks of kicking my way through crunchy leaves and using candlelight to write my morning journaling sessions. It isn’t all pumpkins and pleasure though.

Autumn can be a very difficult time of year for many. It is the season we are most likely to succumb to those seasonal sniffles and other bugs. It is also a time of year when many people have anniversaries, some happy and joyful, others less so.  

Autumn is certainly a mixed bag.

When I think of Autumn I immediately smile. I think of pumpkin picking with my children, of hot chocolate while snuggling under blankets watching Hocus Pocus or Harry Potter. I think of the joy on my daughter’s face when she was little when Strictly Come Dancing started again. We called it “Pretty Ladies” for years, because she couldn’t remember what it was called. My husband worked as a commentator and videographer for the football when she was very little so Saturdays were almost always Mum and daughter time. I would buy snacks and we would cuddle up on the sofa ready to watch the dancing. It was a big treat because it was after her bedtime really, but she loved it, and I loved those special times. 


New autumn traditions

This year for the first time, I have had to create new traditions. Strictly started the year she was born and she has always been with me while I watch it. My daughter is away at University and isn’t even able to watch Strictly, this year. I sit watching it with my husband, and remenisce about those times when she was younger. As I do I realise just how many things are going to be different from now on. So many things she won’t be here for and before I know it it will just be the two of us at home, thank goodness we have a five year age gap between the children, but even that will no doubt fly by.


Life moves on, things change. People come in and out of our lives. This year, was the 15th Anniversary of my pituitary surgery too, and that has brought up a lot of emotions. It is also the anniversary of my Gran, my Grandad Joe’s and my husband’s Grandad Beddow’s passing at this time of year, and both his Nan and my Grandma Mary would have had birthdays in November. So there are many thoughts of our loved ones who are no longer with us as the weather gets colder and the nights draw in. This year, that was emphasised by us losing my husband’s Auntie Wendy. Wendy was a very special lady, and as she was mum to my college friend, Helena,  I knew her well, many years before I even met my husband or his family. You see Ian and I met at Helena’s wedding, so I had known Wendy and her little family for 6 years before I met my husband. She was one of the kindest, most welcoming people I have ever met, she truly had a heart of gold and she will be missed by everyone who knew her. 

I love that we are able to save up so many memories to reflect on during our quieter times at this time of year. Whether it is watching a familiar film or TV programme, looking through old photos or meeting with loved ones, we store up our memories like the animals hoard food for over the cold months. These remembrances get us through the darker days like the squirrel’s nuts get it through the cold, hungry days of winter. 

TEDx Peterborough

Autumn achievements

There have of course been other new memories, this autumn, such as me doing my first TEDx Talk. I will definitely never forget that. The worry that I wouldn’t get my voice back in time will stay with me for a long time. I am so relieved that I managed to get through it, and I learned so many lessons along the way too. I learned to release so much that week, just like the trees are releasing their leaves at this time of year.

All in all, autumn can be a bit of a rollercoaster, not just for me, but for many people. It is a time of reflection, of introspection. A time for self care and nourishing our physical and emotional needs. I know I am grateful for the darker evenings and a feeling that it is more acceptable to huddle inside with our loved ones and not be quite so sociable. I find this time of year nourishing.

Some days are incredibly productive and I haul up in my office and immerse myself in my writing, or clean out a cupboard. Other days, I just want to sit with a book or watch a film and cocoon myself. That’s ok too. Just as the Autumn Equinox has equal length day and night, life is about balance.

With a little self care and a focus on the turning of the year, appreciating that this is how we are meant to behave, we get through to the lighter days when I have to put my boots and chunky jumpers back into storage, and enjoy the return of the leaves on the trees and the green is so bright it fills our hearts with joy. 

One thing I know for sure, is that as much as I love autumn, I am so grateful that I live in a part of the world where we have seasons and I can embrace each and the lessons it has to teach me.

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