love you, october

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Oh, how I’ve loved this month. October might even be My Favourite Month full stop. I’ve experienced the transition from summer to autumn more consciously this year. We’re living so much closer to nature now and I’m in the woods pretty much every day, so this doesn’t come as a surprise. In the course of the last month I realised that I’ve properly arrived in this new area and our new place. I will shut up about it eventually, but moving really has been a huge and scary step for me, and I’m so glad everything is turning out to be okay. Better than okay actually. ☁️

Contrary to what the month of September usually stands for for me (and what I’ve talked about in my August roundup blogpost “space”) – this feeling of renewal and a fresh start –, I actually had a hard time getting motivated and back into the swing of things during September. HOWEVER – and you might be asking yourself why I’m talking about September, when this is the October roundup – I really turned it around in October, yay. 🎉

I made myself a plan. Not just a to do list, but A Plan, and followed through on it. I realised that a mere list of things doesn’t help me at all when I’m not really feeling motivated to begin with. So instead of working with a long list, I clustered all my projects and things I wanted to do, broke them down into easier to manage action steps, and divided them into three groups:

  • to do immediately (in the course of the next few days with a set date/deadline, or in regular intervals like daily, every other day etc.),
  • to do in the course of the next two weeks, and
  • to do until the end of the month.

This really helped me to get an overview, to plan better, and to estimate, if my workload was doable, or if I was piling on too much.

In the last few days of the month I reviewed my plan. I acknowledged all the things I had accomplished in the last four weeks, identified what maybe didn’t get done and asked myself if I wanted to take these items into the next month, or dismiss them altogether. There was a blog project for example, that I’d wanted to do and I had already done 50% of the work, when I realised that I didn’t think it was a good idea after all. And so I crossed it off the list and concentrated on other things. (I realize that you can’t apply this last step when it comes to work-work-work things where you don’t have a choice but to do them.) 👹

To make a very long story short: I’m so happy with everything I managed to do during October and I already made a new plan for the next four weeks. Having some kind of planning and reviewing technique in place can be so helpful, especially when you tend to either procrastinate, or put on too many items on your to do list. Let me know how you project plan and manage – I’d be interested to hear about other tools and ideas!

One of the more fun-than-work-plans I had for October, was carving a pumpkin! I cycled to a nursery that always does a pumpkin market in October and picked up a few smaller ones for our dinning table, and a big one for carving.
This, amongst other activities (see homemade spooky cookies above), really got me in the autumn mood this year. I think I can safely say now that I’m a bigger autumn and Halloween fan than I am a Christmas person.
Cycling through and going for runs in the woods every day, seeing nature changing and preparing for winter made me feel so peaceful and connected to myself. I really feel more at ease since we’re living on the outskirts of Berlin and closer to nature. 🍂

Speaking of Halloween! I made my famous (I only made them once before, but they’re famous in our house nonetheless) vegan pumpkin mac and cheese and some very spooky chocolates for dessert for Halloween this year. I really got into the autumn spooky spirit and I intend to let this mood continue up until the end of November. I know I might begin to feel christmas-y by then, but for now, I’m happy pretending I live in Halloweentown.

In the context of getting ready for winter, I think I’m going to take a leaf out of nature’s book and hibernate until Christmas, or even until the end of the year. We’re heading towards another lockdown in Berlin – so slowing down and going inwards is pretty much the best and healthiest option anyway. There’s an online course I’m going to be doing in November and December, and I want to really dedicate myself to the material and give it my all without any distractions. There’re also a lot of work projects, closely followed by Christmas preparations of course – so I’m probably going to pause publication on my blog and newsletter until the end of the year. I might drop in every now and again, but for the time being, I’m going to take this time and focus on doing less.

That being said, I’m wishing you a lovely autumn! I hope you’re staying safe and looking after yourselves as best as possible.

Take care and talk soon!

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