Autumn has truly arrived in Seattle. It is absolutely gorgeous, with crisp mornings and beautiful sunny cool afternoons. There is no question why this is my favorite season with weeks like this. The chill in the air when I first step outside each morning reminds me that the season of turning inward, nesting and settling into our indoor life is coming soon. Warm sweaters are pulled from high shelves as layers are necessary when there is such a difference between the 40 degree mornings and 75 degree afternoons. The gardens are being tidied, bonfires burn odd refuse from trimming back bushes and the remainder of trees that were taken down this summer and pumpkins are taking the place of summer annuals that filled old winebarrels outside the front doors and barn.
One thing I tend to do this time of year is simplify, purge, and re-evaluate. Bag after bag is taken to charity to clear out things we no longer need, giving me a sense of calm with the elimination of clutter and messy closets. Meals become simple, being cooked slowly throughout the day, with more legumes, squash and heavy greens. I also tend to turn inward and have endless conversations with myself about how I can reduce spending, where I can eliminate waste and things that we don’t really need. I try to plan meals for the week rather than running to the grocery or market endlessly at every whim. I buy less and try to utilize what I already have instead.
There are times when it is necessary for our family to tighten our belts and work together to find ways to reduce spending. When these times arrive, my first reaction is often a bit of fear- can we do this? Will we go without things we need? However it usually turns to a positive feeling as I love a challenge. I love going as long as I can without a trip to the grocery, trying to use up things that I have had in the pantry and haven’t found a use for. Meals get creative and I have more fun with them – something that always reminds me of my time staying with friends in France.
Another thing that happens is that we slow down. We spend more time as a family, doing things that don’t cost anything but having so much fun doing them, and we really take the time to enjoy moments that would usually fly by. I’m not always out running around, working on this project or that, but instead finishing things that may have been forgotten or overlooked. The farm is always run so much more efficiently, with odd jobs being completed and all of us working together to do so. I honestly love the feeling that comes from these times, even if our stress level is elevated. It is times like this that give us such an appreciation for the times when life is so good and finances aren’t as much of an issue.
I would love to know what things you do to reduce spending at times such as these. How do your meals change? How does it affect your children? Where do you find the most pleasure and happiness when you are faced with financial challenges?
Have a marvelous week mes amies and enjoy the arrival of Autumn wherever you may be!