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Work, Work Hard, But Take Time To Recharge

By Amy Nielsen

It’s fall in upstate New York where I live. The leaves are turning and the air is getting crisp. October is always my favorite season, yes, season. I have lived in many places in the world and there is nothing like fall in New England, especially October in New England.

Even in other parts of the world at similar latitudes, with similar trees, there is just something different about New England. The only place I have been where it is similar, yet a different magic is cast upon the land, is the Scottish Highlands. In October. Go figure.

Fall is a time of natural inward and downward motion. A time when we gather what we have moved outside, back to inside. Literally, as we bring in the summer lawn toys and start to put away the summer short wear, and figuratively as we begin to think about family and self as the season turns to the table-centered holidays. The opposite time is spring or March. Which, in New England, we call Mud Season. But I’ll get to spring later.

October is a transition time, seasonally and culturally. Seasonally the earth changes colors, the weather goes through a burst of activity, the temperatures are vastly different day to night and the days are noticeably shorter. Culturally, most families have settled into the new school year routine. In the corporate world, this is the first month in many where all employee team members are on the job at the same time since summer vacations punctured productivity.

The big numbers the country runs on appear now in advance of all of that extra spending we will do in the next three months. Or not. And we won’t even begin to talk about the political shenanigans that happen in October.

October is when I find myself focusing on HalloweenThanksgivingYuletideNewYears. You know, that three-month-long, anxiety ridden, panic attack where we force ourselves to be with people we don’t really like very much, eat foods we know are bad for us, spend way too much money on things we don’t need and travel to places we get lost in.

And then wonder why we are such a mess when spring come peeking under the window sill.

And, October happens to be my most favorite month ever. I always feel great in October. The light is just right, even when it rains. There is exactly the right amount of light for my personal clock. The weather is usually pretty terrific, and if it is not, it’s still October. The colors explode off the hillside in their brilliant contrasts. I love the foods that are ready around this time of year. The smell changes drastically from the beginning of the month to the end, with the final burst of blooms at the beginning before the first frosts bring the decay of leaves as they pile up.

I married both my first and second husbands in October. My husband, my two closest friends and my grandmother all have birthdays in October. If it is a year for us to move, we seem to always start the real journey around this time too.

I have been doing a lot of research into my personal history. I have come to a point in my life where I really want to get to know me. I seem to fall into this reflection yearly. This year, I am taking it a bit deeper and taking the time to write my story down, or at least make detailed notes. I feel like I need to really know who I am before I embark on helping other people learn who they deeply are.

If I had been a bit more aware of my personal rhythms six months ago, I would have planned this time to work through that personal reflection. But now, I know it and I can plan it into my calendar for next season.

If you know your own personal timing throughout the year, use it to your advantage. I know I love October in New England, so I will make sure to plan my vacation time, my recharge time, for October in New England.

I also like Mud Season in New England for a totally different reason. I will plan my business travel around when I want to be in places that recharge me. When I am traveling I am expending energy with my clients, therefore they need to plan recharge time also.

Where is your recharge spot? When is your best time? Do you know when in the year you feel great and when you feel crappy? I am working on a calendar of high and low energy times so I can better plan my class schedules and my client travel times. I know that I want to be in the New England area in October and probably September and August. I know that I will have to travel for family in November and December, so I can plan classes and client travel around that family travel time.

Use your personal rhythms to help you succeed. Plan recharge times in places you love deeply so you have the energy to sustain you in times of low energy or high energy expenditure. But first you have to figure out when those times are and where those places are.

What if you can’t get to your happy place? What if I have to be away from New England in October? Where else can you recharge? How else can you recharge? These are questions I still have to answer. I am still working on the process, but I think I have a pretty good idea of how I want next October to look.

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