As soon as the clocks change at the end of October it signals a profound change within me. Something I am not highly aware of at the time, but, nonetheless, means that throughout autumn and winter I am essentially a different woman to the one I was in summer.
Take the evenings as a starting point. Gone are the days of whimsical nights spent outdoors after school and work because, well, the sunshine is still beating down and it’s glorious. Hubby standing in front of a smoking BBQ fire, me opening a chilled bottle of white wine, the twins running around the garden with our neigbours children, (all slightly feral and manic) with no clothes on. Routines thrown well and truly out of the window.
Now? Well now I’m in my PJ’s by 4.51pm, all the house candles are lit, every single light and lamp is switched on and the curtains are drawn. Absolutely no one will knock on the front door and we have zero plans after school all week. In fact, our close neighbours and their children could have sold up and moved to Spain during the winter and we would never know a thing about it.
From May-August every weekend is a new invitation to a party/BBQ/drinks out/dinner al fresco. In the winter, however, if someone sends me a WhatsApp to ask me out for anything post 6pm I feel as though they’ve just asked me to do a TED talk. Anxious. Fearful. Unenthusiastic. Reluctant. I know I should do it because it’ll be good for me. But really? Do I have to?
As well as my hibernation button fully set to ON are my low motivation levels for fitness. In the warmer months I would be out running at 8pm at night, listening to a podcast, soaking in the wildlife and fresh air, training for a race. Nowadays dragging myself outside in the wind and drizzly rain simply hasn’t got the same appeal. I thus feel more sluggish and a more lethargic version of the ‘summer me’.
It’s not all bad though. Some of the seasonal change is most welcome, and, (dare I say) positive too.
At this time of year we enjoy cooking more; it’s a welcome change to throwing tossed leaves into a salad bowl and eating overcooked chicken drumsticks on repeat all summer. In the autumn and winter Hubby and I enjoy finding tasty recipes, sourcing ingredients and making hearty food for the family, which we then savour all together around the kitchen table. Food and cooking is more comforting (and enjoyable). The art of creating flavoursome dishes are more rewarding.
And then there’s the A/W fashion, which, blah blah blah you know I bloody love. I can’t dress myself in the summer. Dresses are too floaty. Flip-flops too casual. And don’t get me started on the decision whether or not to take out a jacket/shacket/cardigan/coat. Plus there’s SO MUCH flesh on display, which I simply can’t deal with.
In the colder months though, it’s easy as fuck. Jeans, boots, jumper, coat. Done. Leave the house. And it all looks so good too. Everything matches; it fits well. Plus, no preparation needed to shave legs, paint toenails, wax, fake-tan, exfoliate, moisturise etc etc. The time I will now claw back from all that summer preening will be better spent on things like reading books, making soup or watching films under a knitted blanket.
I also really enjoy TV now too. The shows that are on are better quality, as well as the excitement and anticipation of the impending Christmas specials (and the adverts). I feel the dreaded Mum-guilt for staying in too much during the summer and having the box on, which means the children are wild, never relax and everyone is slightly cross because they’re constantly pooped. In the winter though is the time to get properly into the art of wellbeing and to therefore put R&R high up on the agenda. Chilling out is cool, once more.
It’s now acceptable to be home at 11am on a Sunday, in a dressing gown, still watching Paw Patrol and have zero exciting plans all day. And…no one is judging you for it on Instagram. Not at all. In fact, they are praising and admiring how much effort you have put into embracing the hygge concept. You are now ‘inspiring’.
My spending habits change too throughout the year. In the summer our cash goes on holidays, garden furniture and socialising (mostly via bottles of Prosecco). In the autumn and winter though I literally want to throw all of our money at redecorating our entire home. Suddenly, as it’s gone slightly colder outdoors, I *need* new bed linen, cushions and framed prints. I’m also currently frantic for new sofas and a new bed.
In addition, my plan this week is to paint the walls of our hallway navy blue (yes I know I am 3,000 years behind the trend but, hey ho). Added to this I will enjoy spending the next few weeks browsing in HomeSense and H&M Home online, seeking out new textures for our home such as velvet and wool, because they’re cosy, and that alone fills me with utter joy.
So whilst I may be a fully-blown seasonal cliché, I’ll take it. I can’t help the inner workings of my mind, nor the actions it makes me take. It’s my sub conscious speaking to me…and sometimes you have to go with the mindful flow. So if you do want me for the foreseeable, I’ll be under a cream faux-fur throw, in my PJ’s, eating Bakewell tart, sipping hot chocolate and working on my self-care like a pro.
Love, Jess x