For those of us who greatly value the outdoor opportunities that are unique to summer—such as warm temperatures for water activities, easier alpine exploration, or simply the long daylight hours—this time of the year can present a difficult transition. That’s not to say that we’re relegated to the couch once Fall begins, but some limitations are inherent upon the changing of the seasons. My aim is not to sound alarm bells or pull anyone away from the pleasant, if fading, glow of the final days of summer. Yet, even so, while many people strive to pack-in whatever remaining goals or activities that have eluded them over the past few months, this time of year also presents an opportunity to conscientiously prepare for the generally-slower winter season.
To think about this process another way, once we’re truly embedded in the chill of winter, my mind inevitably starts to orient itself to the next summer season, dreaming of mountain tops, seasonal vacation possibilities, and just being more comfortable outdoors. Overall, I think there is emotional value in identifying such things to look ahead to with excitement, so long as it does not take away from our present situation. And with that concept in mind, I posit that now is the time to take a similar approach to welcoming the uniqueness of the colder seasons with equivalent optimism.
What opportunities will the colder months present to you this year? Now is the time to give this notion some thought. Personally, I’m mentally starting to line up some activities and goals for the winter months, such as identifying books I want to read, online courses to take, physical fitness goals to pursue, and so forth. Perhaps this winter you’ll want to learn a new hobby, take some sort of instructional class, spend more time with friends and family, or yes, even take advantage of outdoor winter activities. Whatever the case may be, I encourage you to frame the winter season in a light of positive anticipation.
Surely, I would be remiss not to note that some of you are undoubtedly dreaming about winter this time of year with the same type of passion I described in anticipating summer—and that’s equally wonderful. Regardless of what time of year you prefer or what events you look forward to from year to year, the key premise I’m aiming to impart via this example is achieving and maintaining a healthy balance. I believe there’s great value in looking ahead with excitement to upcoming events or seasons, so long as we remain grounded and even exhilarated by our current environment as well. Realizing this emotional balance and appreciating the special opportunities that every part of a calendar year presents can be a useful tool in maintaining a state of relative equilibrium and satisfaction regardless of the month.
Alongside those thoughts, I wish you emotional balance and wellness, not to mention a productive, engaging winter season. It’s hard to believe, but we’ll be bundling up to stay warm in very little time. But until then, while keeping the positive aspects of the upcoming winter in mind, I think there’s still a little time to squeeze in one last warm-weather excursion.