Ode to Autumn
The season for new beginnings
I realised some years back just how pointless it was to begin each new calendar year with an endless list of resolutions most of which were unrealistic to say the least. Earlier this year I wrote the following: ‘By 6.15am one recent cold January morning the car park at my local sports complex was full. I shrugged thinking that for most of these drivers, this new found dedication won’t last. I was hoping I was wrong.’ The gist of the story was that endeavoring to live life to its fullest is not about making some woolly, half-hearted decisions that truly mean little, especially when concocted after the festive excess.
The truth is that one third of resolutions don’t make it past January and over three quarters are abandoned soon after. To me this lack of commitment is down to timing and motivation. Sure, you might get an initial burst of motivation that gets you started, but rarely lasts. But why wait until a cold January morning when you are feeling exhausted and blue to make a choice about something as meaningful as this anyway? In the natural world January isn’t about pushing the body to extremes through food deprivation or going hell-for-leather on a running machine, it's the time to nourish with warming winter foods and the time to keep warm and take life a little easier.
What’s more, resolutions are typically based on what you think you should be doing, rather than what you really want to do. So make realistic resolutions by focusing on what you really want – something that comes from the inside and really matters to you. To me (and an increasing number of others) autumn is the time to do this. After all, it’s when bears lay down adipose tissue and creatures of all kinds take stock and check their reserves. As Truman Capote wrote in Breakfast At Tiffany’s: “Aprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring.”
Such a delicious heart-warming season, overflowing with mellow golden light and turning leaves and wow that sunrise truly is something to embrace. So make the most of it by moving your body more on these golden autumn days. Resolve to be fit, strong and balanced, drawing on the view that if you feel great, you will look great too. Habit is key, and once you start to notice the way regular exercise makes you feel (and look), the more you will want to stay that way.
Ode to Autumn
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-evesrun;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
– John Keats