Live Free & Happy

Pumpkin Spice, Spice, Baby

My one-month old babe and I went out for an early morning walk yesterday morning in search of fall sunshine and pumpkin spice.  A giant stack of porch-ready pumpkins has suddenly appeared outside of Vons and there was just the faintest sniff of autumn in the air that made my sleepy heart smile. 

Although I miss the long summer days and picnic season, I adore autumn.  Exploding with pies, pumpkin patch pics, and sweater pics, my Instagram feed suggests I am far from alone in my seasonal passions.  Just like New Years, a crisp fall breeze brings with it a sense of fresh beginnings and a clear slate; a time to rethink priorities and dreams.  It’s also an ace time to sink your teeth into something seasonally scrumptious.  One of my fav parts about You Got Mail (and I have a lot–if you haven’t watched it in years, you need a rewatch!) is the part where Tom Hanks says to Meg Ryan, “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”  That’s just how I feel too, Tom!  The changing leaves, the smell in the air, cozy sweaters, our American baking obsession with all things pumpkin and cinnamon takes the sting out of pushing our swimsuits into the back of the drawer and the shorter days. 

Snuggled in between the heat and the winter’s cold months, autumn is just what we need to revive our spirits and set us on a path towards happiness.  When I was entrenched in my eating disorder, I felt I needed to treat autumn sparingly and with a sense of anxiety.  I could enjoy a slice of pumpkin bread or an apple-spiced donut after I finished a term paper.  I needed to sprint through my course readings and term papers to prove I wasn’t lazy from too much beach-time.  Fall also meant winter was right around the corner and soon I would be freezing my butt off and miserable. 

            Enjoy a tiny sliver of fall joy while you can, because autumn won’t last long!

            But be very careful—you only deserve a faint sniff of pumpkin spice!  Pumpkin sauce and whipped cream are for fatties or women who have mastered their bodies!  You are different!

Vicious thoughts (lies!) like this one were my ED voice’s attempt to ensure I was “safe”.  In reality, however, I was living a uselessly restrictive lifestyle that kept happiness at a distance.  Thankfully, as more PS seasons passed in this restrictive manner, I became increasingly fed-up with my voice.  More importantly, I began to see my voice as the liar she is, and realized I do not need to deny myself of nutrients or pleasures in order to be a good person.  We are all “good” regardless of what is on our plate, and we all deserve pumpkin pie.  Yeah, WITH THE WHIPPED CREAM.  Why?  Because whipped cream is delicious.

Now, that being said, I appreciate if you can’t handle the whip yet, or if you feel you must enjoy fall sparingly.  Keep in mind, however, that the seasons are one of the greatest pleasures of our human experience and that they are meant to be enjoyed!  Autumn is like a slow-pitch for us to awaken our senses; an opportunity to fully engage in the present as we satisfyingly jump into crunchy leaves, breathe in the smell of a freshly baking apple pie, snuggle into our favorite oversized sweater on an evening walk, and gather with our dearest and small and cozy 2020 gatherings.  Consequently, why not welcome autumn this year with a giant, full-bodied hug?!  Revel in all the good vibes it can bring into your heart, from now until the snow begins to stick against your windows.  Light the biggest apple orchard triple-wick candle you can and burn it unsparingly.  Plow your way through every variety of apple imaginable without regret, and take in the subtle variations of tartness and crunch like an orchard sommelier. Stroll through a pumpkin patch on a cold afternoon, with our without a child or friend in tow.  Whatever’s your pleasure, fall (haha) in love with the season all over again and remind yourself that you deserve to experience every single luscious flavor and scent.

Image by Valiphotos from Pixabay 

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