Transitioning into Autumn – reflections for August Moon ’13

Kat writes: We are about to enter into a gentler season i.e. Autumn/Fall if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere. For me, these seasons often feel like a relief after the intensity of Summer and Winter. How do you intend to transition into the new season?

I’m using Kylie’s excellent ‘Summer Compass’ questions (which are not just for summer!) to prompt this post, and reflect on today’s August Moon ’13 blog topic, but first here’s the context.


Worry over how The Art House is doing has driven me WAY off course with my self care, creativity and personal goals this summer.  A lot of additional hours and energy were required to earn what amounts to a £10,000 shortfall due to falling customer numbers as the weather gets hot, students head home and people just don’t come in.

The Art House gets out and about in the summer - fun but knackering!

The Art House gets out and about in the summer – fun but knackering!

The ‘busy Saturdays’ we count on turned into quiet days, many of our crew went on holiday, or home for the summer, or simply lost focus as summer activities came to the fore, and customers headed off to festivals, holidays and their allotments.

Emotionally it can get hard and I’ve had to vent feelings of frustration and abandonment a few times.  On the other hand, I’ve really appreciated our regulars that keep coming in whatever the weather – these people sustain us through the summer so much.

Regulars of awe, Laura, David and Eddie the dog.

Regulars of awe, Laura, David and Eddie the dog.  We would be screwed without people (and dogs) like these!

I’m feeling ready for a rest as lots of feelings of resentment about my workload are surfacing right now.  Having a partner in the same boat means we both can feel very unsupported when things get like this, which does not help!

It’s been a really not-fun few months, if I am honest, and I am not one to complain lightly.

On the plus side, we’ve had amazing events as a result of having to get more people in, and The Art House has really blossomed and grown.

AND we earned that extra money, which is the main thing!

On the minus side, I’ve had some really weird tensions with friends, my relationship has been on the back burner since Spring (and is going to need some TLC soon!), demands have been coming at me that I haven’t been able to meet – and physically I’m very tired.  I’m needing enormous amounts of alone-time at the moment, far more than usual, to recoup from any activities.

DSCF1249Autumn always stirs a little shiver of worry, as I get Seasonal Affective Disorder and find winter quite challenging.  Because summer always was my high-energy, recharge time, I feel worried when this doesn’t happen.

I’m determined firstly to get in ‘shape’ for winter, and to put in place measures that mean I NEVER have to hate another summer!  I used to adore summers, but these last few years they’ve been three months of yuk.  Hot, sunny yuk whilst everyone around seems to be having a wonderful time.

So, on to the questions….

1. What’s your destination? (What are you aiming for this Autumn?)

My destination for the Autumn is to enter the winter with enough energy and positivity to enjoy the cosy inside time, survive the seasonal affective disorder and have a proper handle on self-care.

This summer has been harder than most and I’ve had little time to get outside and recharge after the long, cold winter.  The upcoming Autumn days are a good time to get some air and sun and rest.

I'm off!

I’m off!

The way I see it, I’ve slogged in the fields for months and am hoping to reap a huge, abundant harvest!  Starting with a whole week off at the end of this month.

I’m also going to draw stronger boundaries, give up things I don’t have time or energy for, and delegate a lot more as the winter approaches.

Autumn is a good time to prune and let go, and I’ve been doing a lot of that.

Thinking of my winter time like a store-room, where I will make space for the things that will nourish me over the season, but everything else needs to go on the bonfire, or compost heap, right about now!

2. When are the times when you’re most likely to go off course? (These might be pitfalls you recognize from years past, pitfalls you’ve experienced this Autumn, or pitfalls that you think might show up soon.)

When we have a lot of evening events at The Art House (and we have LOTS coming up) my sleep and eating become irregular.  I will continue to chip away at this and also say ‘no’ to evening working more often.

At busy times, I tend to drop the very things that support me, rather than making them first priority as I should.

I go off course:  late at night when I am tired and then get stuck in a loop of doing unproductive work when I need to sleep.  At mealtimes, when the cafe is full and I need alone time so skip eating.

3. What helps keep you on course? (What things can you do, either once or on a regular basis, to keep you headed toward your destination?)

DSCF3292I’ve signed up to the Yoga-Glo site and this, with walking, will make sure my body is getting the stretching and moving it needs.

Art, that keeps me on course!

Journalling, another course-corrector.


Eating properly and regularly.  My meal planning has gone off course and needs to be re-started, as it was helping tremendously.  Taking food with me, even a few healthy snacks, for those moments when I can’t face a full cafe at lunchtime.  Downing tools at home when mealtimes come, and eating something proper.

Most of all.

Saying NO NO NO more often.  NO to multiple late nights at work.  NO to extra projects that don’t support me.  NO to the demands of others.  NO to anyone else’s drama.  On the compost heap and bonfire those things shall go!

A disclaimer request type thing!

This is hard, I find this hard, admitting that everything isn’t tickety-boo!  I always ask when doing a personal sharing that people refrain from advice – as this can block the flow of honesty for me.   Thanks!


Transitioning into Autumn – reflections for August Moon ’13 — 7 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing the parts that aren’t quite tickety-boo. These are the bits that give me permission to exhale and exclaim, “Phew! Me too.”

  2. Love your honesty Jani, thank you for sharing. As part of your current Blooming Creative course I feel you are giving SO much good energy to us, not only in terms of your time but also yourself, it must be quite intense and draining for you, so please know it is very much appreciated (and hugely helpful!)

  3. Thanks Beth! I’ve got very good at ‘ring fencing’ energy for things like the Blooming Creative programme, setting aside specific times when I am not tired to work on it – it’s the unexpected extras I find most challenging, and they’re getting many NOs at the moment 🙂

  4. Jani, such a good and necessary reminder to us all to not only listen to ourselves but honor what we need, without feeling “guilty” or “less-than” for doing so! Yay you for being honest and upfront and striving to care for number one first! CRUCIAL to not only our own well-being but our ability to be our best selevs with others we encounter! {{hugs}}